Definition of bluestocking
: a woman having intellectual or literary interests
bluestocking was our Word of the Day on 09/03/2015. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Recent Examples of bluestocking from the Web
Bluestockings Bookstore/Cafe, 172 Allen St, NYC 10002.
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
First Known Use: 1780See Words from the same year
BLUESTOCKING Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bluestocking for English Language Learners
: an educated woman who is interested in books and ideas
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).