old maid

An old maid is a woman who's not married, especially one who's very old. When you hear someone described as an old maid, you'll know it's a comment on the fact that she has no husband.

The term old maid is old fashioned and fairly derogatory — in other words, it's not nice to call someone an old maid. Back in the days when the idea of a woman remaining unmarried was a little bit shocking, most people had an old maid aunt or sister. And in the card game called old maid, which has been around since Victorian times, players try to avoid being left with the black queen, or the old maid.

Primary Meanings of old maid

1.
n
an elderly unmarried woman
2.
n
a card game using a pack of cards from which one queen has been removed; players match cards and the player holding the unmatched queen at the end of the game is the loser (or `old maid')
3.
n
any of various plants of the genus Zinnia cultivated for their variously and brightly colored flower heads
Full Definitions of old maid
1

n an elderly unmarried woman

Synonyms:
spinster
Type of:
unmarried woman
a woman who is not married
2

n a card game using a pack of cards from which one queen has been removed; players match cards and the player holding the unmatched queen at the end of the game is the loser (or `old maid')

Type of:
card game, cards
a game played with playing cards

n the loser in a game of old maid

Type of:
also-ran, loser
a contestant who loses the contest
3

n any of various plants of the genus Zinnia cultivated for their variously and brightly colored flower heads

Synonyms:
old maid flower, zinnia
Types:
Zinnia acerosa, white zinnia
subshrub with slender woolly stems and long narrow leaves and flower heads with white rays; southern United States and northern Mexico
Zinnia grandiflora, little golden zinnia
subshrub having short leafy stems and numerous small flower heads with nearly round yellow-orange rays; Arizona south to Mexico and east to Kansas
Type of:
flower
a plant cultivated for its blooms or blossoms

n commonly cultivated Old World woody herb having large pinkish to red flowers

Synonyms:
Cape periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus, Madagascar periwinkle, Vinca rosea, cayenne jasmine, periwinkle, red periwinkle, rose periwinkle
Type of:
herb, herbaceous plant
a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests

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