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

n a personal maid or female attendant

Type of:
amah, housemaid, maid, maidservant
a female domestic

n in a subordinate position

“theology should be the handmaiden of ethics”
handmaid, servant
Type of:
subordinateness, subsidiarity
secondary importance

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