spinster

noun
spin·ster | \ˈspin(t)-stər \

Definition of spinster 

1 : a woman whose occupation is to spin

2a archaic : an unmarried woman of gentle family

b : an unmarried woman and especially one past the common age for marrying

3 : a woman who seems unlikely to marry

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Other Words from spinster

spinsterhood \ˈspin(t)-stər-ˌhu̇d \ noun
spinsterish \ˈspin(t)-st(ə-)rish \ adjective
spinsterly adjective

Examples of spinster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So, were her parents being welcoming out of relief that their daughter wouldn’t become a spinster or out of surprise that she, as her friends pointed out, had got lucky? Weike Wang, The New Yorker, "Omakase," 6 June 2018 On December 21st 1908 Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy spinster, was bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument. The Economist, "When Arthur Conan Doyle cried “J’Accuse…!”," 7 July 2018 The show not only features a spinster schoolteacher but also plenty of personalities including an inept detective, a stingy restaurant owner, a spoiled niece and a doting cowboy suitor. Jessi Virtusio, Daily Southtown, "Audience assists in solving ‘Touchtone 'M' for Murder’ mystery in Orland Park," 6 July 2018 Or, perhaps more radically, the spinster sanctuary. Ashley Fetters, Curbed, "Living alone and liking it," 20 June 2018 Single mothers, elegant divorcées, spinster aunts, bored housewives, daughters, wilting violets … all in anxious anticipation as to whether the shoe will fit, fit them alone, that the prince from the fairy tale is meant for them. New York Times, "My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me," 15 June 2018 And the title, the idea of a merry spinster — the idea of jolly, self-sufficient female solitude — that’s very dear to me. Heather Havrilesky, The Cut, "‘Mallory Is Not Gone’: Daniel Mallory Ortberg on Coming Out As Trans," 13 Mar. 2018 While Yvonne invents non-amorous explanations for his absence, her husband, George (Marcel Andre), and spinster sister, Leo (Gabrielle Dorziat), try to lay the groundwork for the revelations likely to come. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Storm Within' ('Les Parents Terribles'): Film Review," 23 May 2018 Anastasia, a 40-ish spinster who supports her whole family, briefly indulges a romantic fantasy before resigning herself to loneliness and self-sacrifice. Ben Downing, WSJ, "‘Neapolitan Chronicles’ Review: Naples Painted Black," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spinster.' 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 spinster

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spinster

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

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More Definitions for spinster

spinster

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spinster

: an unmarried woman who is past the usual age for marrying and is considered unlikely to marry

spinster

noun
spin·ster | \ˈspin-stər \

Kids Definition of spinster

: an unmarried woman past the usual age for marrying

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More from Merriam-Webster on spinster

Spanish Central: Translation of spinster

Nglish: Translation of spinster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spinster for Arabic Speakers

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