bluestocking

play
noun blue·stock·ing \ -ˌstä-kiŋ \

Definition of bluestocking

:a woman having intellectual or literary interests

bluestocking was our Word of the Day on 09/03/2015. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of bluestocking from the Web

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

Did You Know?

In mid-18th century England, a group of ladies decided to replace evenings of card playing and idle chatter with "conversation parties," inviting illustrious men of letters to discuss literary and intellectual topics with them. One regular guest was scholar-botanist Benjamin Stillingfleet. His hostesses willingly overlooked his cheap blue worsted stockings (a type disdained by the elite) in order to have the benefit of his lively conversation. Those who considered it inappropriate for women to aspire to learning derisively called the group the "Blue Stocking Society." The women who were the original bluestockings rose above the attempted put-down and adopted the epithet as a name for members of their society.

Origin and Etymology of bluestocking

Bluestocking society, 18th century literary clubs


BLUESTOCKING Defined for English Language Learners

bluestocking

play
noun

Definition of bluestocking for English Language Learners

  • : an educated woman who is interested in books and ideas


Learn More about bluestocking


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bluestocking? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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