Dictionary: MAID-EN-HOOD – MAIN

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MAID-EN-HOOD, n. [Sax. mægdenhad, mædenhad.]

  1. The state of being a maid or virgin; virginity. The modest lore of maidenhood. Milton.
  2. Newness; freshness; uncontaminated state. Shak.


Like a maid; modest. Shak.


The behavior that becomes a maid; modesty; gentleness. Sherwood.


A plant. Ainsworth.


Like a maid; gentle; modest; reserved. Shak.

MAID-EN-LY, adv.

In a maidenlike manner. Skelton.


Virginity. Shak.


A dance; so called from a buffoon dressed like a man. [Obs.] Temple.


Pale, like a sick girl. Shak.


A female servant. Swift.

MAIL, n.1 [Fr. maille, a stitch in knitting, a mail; Sp. malla, a mesh, net-work, a coat of mail; Port. id. and a spot; It. maglia and camaglio; Arm. mailh; D. maal; W. magyl, a knot, a mesh; maglu, to knit, to entangle, to entrap, to form meshes. The sense of spot, which occurs in the French and Portuguese, indicates this word to be from the root of L. macula, and the Welsh words prove it to be contracted from magel.]

  1. A coat of steel net-work, formerly worn for defending the body against swords, poniards, &c. The mail was of two sorts, chain and plate mail; the former consisting of iron rings, each having four others inserted into it; the latter consisting of a number of small lamins of metal, laid over one another like the scales of a fish, and sewed down to a strong linen or leathern jacket. Cyc.
  2. Armor; that which defends the body. We strip the lobster of his scarlet mail. Gay. We read also of shirts of mail and gloves of mail.
  3. In ships, a square machine composed of rings interwoven, like net-work, used for rubbing off the loose hemp on lines and white cordage.
  4. A rent. [Sax. mal.] Also, a spot. [Obs.]

MAIL, n.2 [Fr. malette; Ir. mala; Fr. malle; Arm. mal.]

A bag for the conveyance of letters and papers, particularly letters conveyed from one post-office to another, under public authority.

MAIL, v.t.

  1. To put on a coat of mail or armor; to arm defensively. Shak.
  2. To inclose in a wrapper and direct to a post-office. We say, letters were mailed for Philadelphia.


Usually admitted or proper to be admitted into the mail.


Clad with a coat of mail. Scott.


A coach that conveys the public mails.

MAIL-ED, pp.

  1. Covered with a mail or with armor; inclosed and directed, as letters in a bundle.
  2. adj. Spotted; speckled. Sherwood.

MAIL-ING, ppr.

Investing with a coat of mail; inclosing in a wrapper and directing to a post-office.


Sheathed with a coat of mail. Scott.

MAIM, n. [Written in law-language, Mayhem.]

  1. The privation of the use of a limb or member of the body, so as to render the sufferer less able to defend himself or to annoy his adversary.
  2. The privation of any necessary part; a crippling. Surely there is more cause to fear lest the want thereof be a maim, than the use of it a blemish. Hooker.
  3. Injury; mischief. Shak.
  4. Essential defect. A noble author esteems it to be a maim in history. [Not used.] Hayward.

MAIM, v.t. [Old Fr. mahemer or mahaigner; Arm. mahaigna, mahagnein.]

  1. To deprive of the use of a limb, so as to render a person less able to defend himself in fighting, or to annoy his adversary. Blackstone.
  2. To deprive of a necessary part; to cripple; to disable. You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops. Shak.

MAIM-ED, pp.

Crippled; disabled in limbs; lame.


A state of being maimed. Bolton.

MAIM-ING, ppr.

Disabling by depriving of the use of a limb; crippling; rendering lame or defective.

MAIN, a. [Sax. mægn, strength, force, power, from magan, to be able or strong, that is, to strain or stretch, Eng. may, might. If g is radical in the L. magnus, this may be of the same family; Goth. mickels; Eng. much.]

  1. Principal; chief; that which has most power in producing an effect, or which is mostly regarded in prospect; as, the main branch or tributary stream of a river; the main timbers of an edifice; a main design; a main object. Our main interest is to be as happy as we can, and as long as possible. Tillotson.
  2. Mighty; vast; as, the main abyss. Milton.
  3. Important; powerful. This young prince, with a train of young noblemen and gentlemen, not with any main army, came over to take possession of his patrimony. Davies.