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[bach-uh-ler, bach-ler] /ˈbætʃ ə lər, ˈbætʃ lər/
an unmarried man.
a person who has been awarded a bachelor's degree.
a fur seal, especially a young male, kept from the breeding grounds by the older males.
Also called bachelor-at-arms. a young knight who followed the banner of another.
Also called household knight. a landless knight.
Origin of bachelor
1250-1300; Middle English bacheler < Old French < Vulgar Latin *baccalār(is) farm hand; akin to Late Latin baccalāria piece of land, orig. plural of *baccalārium dairy farm, equivalent to *baccālis of cows (bacca, variant of Latin vacca cow + -ālis -al1) + -ārium place
Related forms
bachelorlike, adjective
bachelorly, adjective
nonbachelor, noun
prebachelor, adjective, noun


[bach-uh-lerz, bach-lerz] /ˈbætʃ ə lərz, ˈbætʃ lərz/
noun, Informal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bachelor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If I am to remain a bachelor and you a maiden lady, why, the will of heaven be done!

  • She had merely to cross the road; he had half a mile to walk to his bachelor abode.

  • Am I to improvise a wife, in my own house, because a stray girl may object to visiting a bachelor?

    The Militants Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews
  • Decatur Brown laughed—a light, irresponsible, bachelor laugh.

  • Miss Long seemed more engrossed in looking round Mr. Dampier's bachelor sitting-room.

    The Boy with Wings Berta Ruck
British Dictionary definitions for bachelor


/ˈbætʃələ; ˈbætʃlə/
  1. an unmarried man
  2. (as modifier): a bachelor flat
  1. a person who holds the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science, etc
  2. the degree itself
Also called bachelor-at-arms. (in the Middle Ages) a young knight serving a great noble
bachelor seal, a young male seal, esp a fur seal, that has not yet mated
Derived Forms
bachelorhood, noun
Usage note
Gender-neutral form: single person
Word Origin
C13: from Old French bacheler youth, squire, from Vulgar Latin baccalāris (unattested) farm worker, of Celtic origin; compare Irish Gaelic bachlach peasant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bachelor

c.1300, "young man;" also "youthful knight, novice in arms," from Old French bacheler (11c.) "knight bachelor," a young squire in training for knighthood, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Medieval Latin baccalarius "vassal farmer," one who helps or tends a baccalaria "section of land." Or from Latin baculum "a stick," because the squire would practice with a staff, not a sword. Meaning evolved from "knight in training" to "young unmarried man" (early 14c.). Bachelor party as a pre-wedding ritual is from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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