What does the word handmaid mean?

Usage examples for handmaid

  1. I don't know why, but from the first he drew my attention; and I left my handmaid to count her charms neglected, while I sat and watched him, speculating about him in a melancholy way, with a sort of vicarious shame. – Grey Roses by Henry Harland
  2. She bore these to the table like a handmaid, but like a delicate and superior handmaid, and it pleased her to constitute herself a delicate and superior handmaid. – Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett