Meaning of handmaid in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhan(d)meɪd/


  • 1archaic A female servant.

    ‘And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.’
    • ‘‘An opera libretto has to be stiletto-slim, compared with a play,’ he said, and as much of the novel consists of the handmaid's memories, he faced problems in representing them as parallel action.’
    • ‘Bumiller mistakenly defines Valkyries as ‘warrior women,’ when the dictionary describes them the handmaids of Odin, riding on horseback, escorting slain heroes to Valhalla.’
    • ‘The work involved for nurses is general nursing duties while for handmaids, it involves bed-making, cleaning duties and serving meals.’
    • ‘The handmaids in Atwood's tale know only what they are told and are unaware of its subversive capabilities.’
    • ‘However, he wished he could allow himself to join in with Harry's complaints because even his long-legged calf-muscles were aching with the strain of following the handmaid's stride.’
    • ‘I was then but a simple handmaid who did as I was bid.’
    attendant, retainer
    1. 1.1A subservient partner or element.
      ‘this is not to say that the researcher simply becomes the handmaid of the practitioner’
      • ‘In ‘little q’ research, the questions are set in the quantitative paradigm, and the qualitative aspect is little more than a handmaid to the numbers.’
      • ‘The handmaids of these august assemblies are Senor Solana and Mr Patten, the two External Affairs Commissioners.’
      • ‘And as if that weren't enough luxury, you can also employ the services of the masseuse to act as a handmaid to satisfy your every need during the birth.’
      • ‘For Trevino, his clients, anyone on the short end, there's no mistaking that law is the handmaid to power, and power is something the vast majority of people here haven't got enough of.’
      • ‘He did not think of philosophic reason either as a mere handmaid to religion or as a dangerous whore out to seduce the mind into supposing that it could attain its supreme end without God's help and grace.’
      • ‘The dance-hall has always been the handmaid of the brothel and the saloon.’
      • ‘One thing that the community must avoid is to make itself the handmaid of any political party.’
      • ‘Pure mathematics is not the rival, even less is it the handmaid, of other branches of science.’
      • ‘Philosophy thus conceived can still be regarded as the handmaid of theology, but as Dante develops his philosophical ideal metaphorically in terms of the beauty of the Donna Gentile, it assumes a religious value of its own.’
      • ‘I am sure that there is a great work to do, which wants every labourer - to show that Art's highest vocation is to be the handmaid to religion and purity, instead of to mere animal enjoyment and sensuality.’
      • ‘Philosophy has traditionally been called ‘the handmaid of theology.’’
      • ‘Once again, the music counts for nothing - in this case, less than nothing; it's even more the handmaid of the text than in Ferdinand.’
      • ‘However, unlike TRT, Med TV is not the handmaid of a nation-state.’
      • ‘For Jonathan Edwards, history was the handmaid of Jesus Christ.’