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



BrE BrE//ˈspɪnstə(r)//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈspɪnstər//
(old-fashioned, often disapproving)
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a woman who is not married, especially an older woman who is not likely to marry The sisters were to remain spinsters for the rest of their lives. This word should not now be used to mean simply a woman who is not married. compare bachelor Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘woman who spins’): from the verb spin + -ster; in early use the term was added to names of women to denote their occupation. The current sense dates from the early 18th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spinster