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

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Other Words from bachelor


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

Examples of bachelor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun All but one are married, and there have been no destination weddings or no bachelor/bachelorette party trips. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: 7-year-old who stays up way past midnight needs structure and rules," 19 Mar. 2020 Starting college with credits tucked away could help Cummins add a second major, take electives or speed through the program and get both a bachelor's and a master's degree in four years. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "Coronavirus has AP testing on the rocks as high school students fear losing college credit," 18 Mar. 2020 Especially vulnerable are white men without a four-year bachelor’s degree. Arlie Russell Hochschild, New York Times, "How the White Working Class Is Being Destroyed," 17 Mar. 2020 Virtually the entire increase in mortality has been among white adults without bachelor’s degrees—some 70 percent of all whites. Helen Epstein, The New York Review of Books, "Left Behind," 10 Mar. 2020 Some Kenzie students hold bachelor’s degrees that didn’t aid them in the job market. Caroline Preston, Wired, "A Coding School Tuition Model Spreads to 4-Year Colleges," 19 Feb. 2020 Nursing schools across the United States had to turn away 75,029 qualified applicants in 2018 due to a lack of faculty to teach bachelor's and graduate-level nursing programs, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "A shortage of nurses made worse by a shortage of nursing-school teachers," 6 Feb. 2020 As of 2016, women of color earn the smallest share of STEM degrees, with black women averaging around 8.7 percent of total STEM bachelor’s degrees awarded. Naia Butler-craig, Washington Post, "For 16-year-old black girl nerds, it’s good that Katherine Johnson is no longer hidden," 28 Feb. 2020 At least some of the flattening in the college premium is due to the increasing number of bachelor’s degrees that convey few skills that are valued in the marketplace. Christos A. Makridis, The Conversation, "Don’t fear a ‘robot apocalypse’ – tomorrow’s digital jobs will be more satisfying and higher-paid," 27 Feb. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for bachelor

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bachelor

Last Updated

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bachelor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for bachelor


How to pronounce bachelor (audio)

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

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