Definition of bluestocking noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈbluːstɒkɪŋ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈbluːstɑːkɪŋ//
(old-fashioned, sometimes disapproving)
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a well-educated woman who is more interested in ideas and studying than in traditionally feminine things Word Originlate 17th cent.: originally used to describe a man wearing blue worsted (instead of formal black silk) stockings; extended to mean ‘in informal dress’. Later the term denoted a person who attended the literary assemblies held (c.1750) by three London society ladies, where some of the men favoured less formal dress. The women who attended became known as blue-stocking ladies or blue-stockingers.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bluestocking