from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woman or girl employed to do housework.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A female servant employed in general work about a house.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A female servant employed to do housework, esp. to take care of the rooms.
  • noun (Med.) a swelling over the knee, due to an enlargement of the bursa in the front of the kneepan; -- so called because frequently occurring in servant girls who work upon their knees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A female servant attached to the non-servant quarter part of the house. (as opposed to a scullery maid.)
  • noun derogatory a housewife.
  • verb To be a housemaid.
  • verb To wait on someone hand on foot, to watch them.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a female domestic


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • A somewhat similar swelling, often as large as an egg, is sometimes seen over the kneepan, more often in those who work upon their knees, hence the name housemaid's knee.

    The Home Medical Library, Volume I (of VI)

  • Alice and Dora would have liked to get the bedrooms ready for the honored guests, but a really good housemaid is sometimes more ready to say "don't" than even a general.

    The Wouldbegoods

  • Dearest, - Nature prompts me to begin the week with writing to you, though I have such a pressure of work ahead as I can't see daylight through, with no help in putting to rights; for my large, beautiful housemaid is like a cow in a flower-garden amongst/[Page 222]/the

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • The housemaid is also a good servant, but not so agreeable a one.

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • A safe housemaid is so much easier to get here than a cook, who doesn't drink, nor steal, nor take the house to herself!

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • 'And he buried her beautiful, ma'am,' said a certain housemaid to her once.

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • Then she called the housemaid and informed her that she had been summoned to return suddenly to England; she must reach Brussels at least that evening.

    Blind Love

  • Inflammation of it goes by the common name housemaid's knee. Latest Headlines

  • Virginia and Leonard frequently used the word housemaid as an insult.

    Imperfect Union

  • Virginia and Leonard frequently used the word housemaid as an insult.

    Imperfect Union


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  • Martha used this word in "The Secret Garden." when she was talking to Mary and said that she would be doing the work in her room.

    June 13, 2012