handmaiden


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hand·maid

 (hănd′mād′) also hand·maid·en (-mād′n)
n.
1. A woman attendant or servant.
2. often handmaiden Something that accompanies or is attendant on another: "the traditional notion that government was the handmaiden of business" (Doris Kearns Goodwin).

handmaiden

(ˈhændˌmeɪdən) or

handmaid

n
1. a person or thing that serves a useful but subordinate purpose: logic is the handmaid of philosophy.
2. archaic a female servant or attendant
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.handmaiden - in a subordinate position; "theology should be the handmaiden of ethics"; "the state cannot be a servant of the church"
subordinateness, subsidiarity - secondary importance
2.handmaiden - a personal maid or female attendant
housemaid, maid, maidservant, amah - a female domestic
References in classic literature ?
The domestics, after being carefully searched and disarmed, were confined in another part of the castle; and Rowena was refused even the comfort she might have derived from the attendance of her handmaiden Elgitha.
The kerchiefs I will restore, as Sancho says he has them; as to the garters that is impossible, for I have not got them, neither has he; and if your handmaiden here will look in her hiding-places, depend upon it she will find them.
There was the nurse, no hired handmaiden of death, but one whose calm affection had endured thus long in secrecy, in solitude, amid the chill of age, and would not perish, even at the dying hour.
Each of us, of course, was extremely anxious about the good appearance of the beloved object; and, though I was the one to glean compliments ashore, B- had the more intimate pride of feeling, resembling that of a devoted handmaiden.
The ubiquitous handmaiden promptly appeared, and Archer heard Madame Olenska say, in an Italian that she seemed to pronounce with intentional deliberateness in order that he might follow it: "Here--throw this into the dustbin
Somehow, with the assistance of the beautiful Foulata, who, since we had been the means of saving her life, had constituted herself our handmaiden, and especially Good's, we managed to get off the chain shirts, which had certainly saved the lives of two of us that day.
The girls rang rather timidly, and were admitted by a grim and ancient handmaiden.
Of course it was beautiful; but there was something more than mere beauty in it, something more stingingly splendid which had made beauty its handmaiden.
Doctor, the good handmaiden became reconciled to her presence, and told her cronies at the Glen that Miss Cuthbert was a fine old lady and knew her place.
There were only the old housekeeper and her handmaiden in the house, so that on the plea of not giving too much trouble I could indulge what my other half calls my fantaisie dereglee as regards meals-- that is to say, meals so simple that they could be brought out to the lilacs on a tray; and I lived, I remember, on salad and bread and tea the whole time, sometimes a very tiny pigeon appearing at lunch to save me, as the old lady thought, from starvation.
But by and by he heard a tremendous grunting and squealing, and then a sudden scampering, like that of small, hard hoofs over a marble floor, while the voices of the mistress and her four handmaidens were screaming all together, in tones of anger and derision.
Occasionally she selects slaves from among them to replenish the ranks of her handmaidens.