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

Lawyer graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in English and an advanced degree in school administration., "After end-of-year leadership controversy, Portland’s Cleveland High has a new principal," 10 July 2019 Eaton, a molecular biologist at the institute in Dresden, Germany, later lived in Armonk, New York, before earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Brown University and a Ph. Bay City News Service, The Mercury News, "Oakland native found dead during scientific conference in Greece," 10 July 2019 Lee began her career teaching modern dance at UCLA in the early 1940s after earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education and dance. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "101-year-old hula teacher spreads aloha spirit," 9 July 2019 According to Nelson, the starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience will be $56,075. Tyler Johnson, Houston Chronicle, "Alvin ISD OKs raises for teachers, staff members," 9 July 2019 John has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas State University. ProPublica, "ProPublica Data Institute 2019," 5 July 2019 Bechtel holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s in curriculum and instruction -- including a reading specialist endorsement -- from Cleveland State University. John Benson,, "Olmsted Falls Board of Education names Dora Bechtel as Early Childhood Center principal," 1 July 2019 Jacqueline has chosen to attend Palomar College to get her general education classes out of the way before transferring to UC San Diego to obtain a bachelor’s degree in general biology. Rita Eastman, Ramona Sentinel, "Garden club awards $4,500 in scholarships," 26 June 2019 Thanks to creeping credentialism, many jobs that once didn’t require a bachelor’s degree now do. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Bernie Sanders’ Old Free College Try," 24 June 2019

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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Statistics for bachelor

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bachelor

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on bachelor

Spanish Central: Translation of bachelor

Nglish: Translation of bachelor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bachelor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bachelor

Comments on bachelor

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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