bach·​e·​lor | \ ˈbach-lər How to pronounce bachelor (audio) , ˈba-chə- \

Definition of bachelor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a young knight who follows the banner of another
2 : a person who has received a degree from a college, university, or professional school usually after four years of study bachelor of arts also : the degree itself received a bachelor of laws
3a : an unmarried man He chooses to remain a bachelor.
b : a male animal (such as a fur seal) without a mate during breeding time



Definition of bachelor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : suitable for or occupied by a single person a bachelor apartment
2 : unmarried bachelor women bachelor parents

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bachelor


bachelordom \ ˈbach-​lər-​dəm How to pronounce bachelor (audio) , ˈba-​chə-​ \ noun
bachelorhood \ ˈbach-​lər-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce bachelor (audio) , ˈba-​chə-​ \ noun

Examples of bachelor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the fall, Martini will enroll at the University of Illinois at Chicago for a bachelor’s degree in design. Josh Noel,, 2 June 2021 That’s about $25,800 more per year than someone in Madison with just a bachelor’s degree. Ramsey Archibald |, al, 31 May 2021 Those awarded receive up to $40,000 per year for two years to complete their bachelor’s degree at a four-year school, according to a news release. Allana Haynes,, 27 May 2021 Swirsky received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio University. Megan Becka, cleveland, 27 May 2021 More than 70 percent of Indian Americans over 25 have completed a bachelor’s degree, but that number plunges to less than 20 percent for Americans of Cambodian, Hmong and Laotian descent. Jeff Raikes, Forbes, 27 May 2021 And national data show that student-parents are 10 times less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree within five years than nonparents. Nicole Lynn Lewis, The Atlantic, 26 May 2021 In fact, workers with a high school degree or less have been displaced at nearly three times the rate as those with a bachelor’s degree. Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 May 2021 Sears holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University; a master’s from the University of Cincinnati, and earned his superintendent license from Xavier University. Sue Kiesewetter, The Enquirer, 24 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Pumpkin, who lost her elderly partner, convinced Harris to forego his bachelor ways in the name of love. Mallory Hughes, CNN, 7 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bachelor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bachelor


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bachelor


Middle English bacheler "knight lacking retainers, squire, young man (especially an unmarried one), person holding the lowest university degree," borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Medieval Latin *baccalāris, variant of baccalārius, bachelārius "serf without land living in the lord's household, vassal lacking a fief, knight without retainers, young clerk, student," of obscure origin


attributive use of bachelor entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About bachelor

Time Traveler for bachelor

Time Traveler

The first known use of bachelor was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bachelor

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bachelor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bachelor



English Language Learners Definition of bachelor

: a man who is not married especially : a man who has never been married
: a person who has received a bachelor's degree


bach·​e·​lor | \ ˈba-chə-lər How to pronounce bachelor (audio) , ˈbach-lər \

Kids Definition of bachelor

: a man who is not married

Other Words from bachelor

bachelorhood \ -​ˌhu̇d \ noun


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!