See also: Maidenhead


Alternative formsEdit


From maiden +‎ -head


maidenhead (countable and uncountable, plural maidenheads)

  1. (uncountable) Virginity.
    Synonyms: maidhood, maidenhood
    • 1713, Sir John Willes, The Speech that was Intended to Have Been Spoken by the Terræ-Filius: In the Theatre at O----d, July 13, 1713, Had Not His Mouth Been Stopp'd by the V. Ch------r:
      Put in but little Silver or Gold, for if you do, you quite spoil the Compoſition ; but inſtead thereof, add of Tradeſmens Bills for Cloaths, to the Value of 100 l. [¶] Laſtly, Take away the Girl's Maidenhead, and then the Compoſition is fit for Uſe.
    • 1760, John Dryden, The Miscellaneous Works: Containing All His Original Poems, Tales, and Translations, page 367:
      Gallants, a bashful poet bids me say,
      He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day.
      Be not too fierce; for he's but green of age,
      And ne'er, till now, debauch'd upon the stage.
    • 1951, Geoffrey Chaucer; Nevill Coghill, transl., The Canterbury Tales: Translated into Modern English (Penguin Classics), Penguin Books, published 1977, page 363:
      My lord, [] / I brought you nothing else it may be said / But faith and nakedness and maidenhead.
    • 1900, John Gower, The English Works of John Gower:
      She prayed to Pallas, and by her help escaped from him in the form of a crow, rejoicing more to keep her maidenhead white under the blackness of the feathers than to lose it and be adorned with the fairest pearls.
    • 1995, Ruth H. Finnegan; Margaret Orbell; Reader in Maori Head of Department of Maori Margaret Orbell, South Pacific Oral Traditions, Indiana University Press, →ISBN, page 70:
      So the reference to the plucking of the ginger flower is again an indirect allusion to the taking of the girl's maidenhead .
    • 2004, Yu Jin Ko, Mutability and Division on Shakespeare's Stage, page 70:
      The gender reversals that pervade this play continue mischievously in the man's maidenhead being the undisclosed secret.
    • 2004, Margaret Doner, Merlin's Handbook for Seekers and Starseeds, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 94:
      [] He said that Katheryn told him he should have her maidenhead, though it be painful to her. I told him to be gone with his empty promises of marriage. But I doubt not that Mr. Mannox has known her intimately.”
    • 2006, C. Harol, Enlightened Virginity in Eighteenth-Century Literature, Springer, →ISBN, page 87:
      [] a young virgin makes an even trade of her maidenhead for a hat that she desires. She negotiates with the haberdasher, who originally stipulated for her maidenhead plus a crown []
    • 2009, The Milieu and Context of the Wooing Group, page 141:
      The penis imagery becomes apparent: the nails are 'blunt' and 'large', designed to push through the fair skin in body parts (feet, hands) that had earlier been described in erotically-charged language. As if losing his maidenhead, Christ's body 'bursts' when entered, bringing forth a gush of blood that mars his white (womanly) skin.
    • 2015, Colin Wilson, A Casebook of Murder:
      Almost immediately afterwards, Scanlan discovered that the marriage was legal; Ellie was his wife. He began to feel that he had paid an exceptionally high price for his maidenhead.
  2. (anatomy) The hymen.

Related termsEdit


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