It’s an old-fashioned word now, but a handmaiden was once a servant who worked for a wealthy family. You might feel like a handmaiden when your parents tell you to scrub every bathroom in the house.

Long ago, a handmaiden (also called a handmaid) often served as the personal servant or maid to the lady of the house. You’re much more likely to encounter this word in a book or movie these days, since someone employed in a home is more likely to be called an assistant, a housekeeper, or a cleaner. The term handmaiden comes from the sense of being “close at hand.”

Definitions of handmaiden
  1. noun

    a personal maid or female attendant

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    type of:

    amah, housemaid, maid, maidservant

    a female domestic

  2. noun

    in a subordinate position

    “theology should be the
    handmaiden of ethics”
    handmaid, servant
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    type of:

    subordinateness, subsidiarity

    secondary importance

Word Family