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A handmaid,[1] handmaiden,[2] bedmaid,[3] lady-in-waiting,[4] companion,[5] or lady companion,[5] is a female servant or personal attendant of a royal woman or noblewoman. These women may be of noble birth themselves,[3][6] or they may be mere smallfolk servants.[7] Handmaids may companionably share the bed of the woman they are attending.[8][6][9][10]

A noblewoman may refer to her nobleborn companions as "my ladies".[10][11]