• noun a tree in its first year after grafting or budding, when it is formed of a single stem


  • adjective being the first instance of its kind
    Citation ‘In the West Indies’ second innings, they made 384, including a superb 176 by George Headley, then the youngest player ever to score a Test century on his maiden appearance’ (Manley 1988)
    Citation ‘By tea, he had pulled, punched, slashed and smashed his way to an extraordinary maiden Test hundred’ (Hugh Chevallier, Wisden 2006)
    Citation ‘Panesar defied those who doubted he had what it takes at this level, claimed the great Sachin Tendulkar as his maiden wicket and showed there is a future for spin in England’ (Mike Selvey, Guardian 24 March 2006)
  • noun an over in which no runs are scored off the bat
    Citation ‘He played twice for England during Lord Hawke’s tour of South Africa in 1898–99, holding the batsmen down at Johannesburg with 24 maidens in his 32 overs’ (Frith 1984)


  • noun an unattractive woman. This pejorative use of the word has been recorded among US college students and London teenagers since 2000.

Origin & History of “maiden”

Maiden goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *magadiz ‘young (sexually inexperienced) woman’, which is also the source of German mädchen ‘girl’. Its diminutive form, *magadīnam, passed into Old English as mægden, the antecedent of modern English maiden. Maid is a 12th-century abbreviation.