[ bach-ler, bach-uh-ler ]
See synonyms for bachelor on
  1. an unmarried man.

  2. a person who has been awarded a bachelor's degree.

  1. a fur seal, especially a young male, kept from the breeding grounds by the older males.

  2. Also called bach·e·lor-at-arms [bach-ler-uht-ahrmz] /ˈbætʃ lər ətˈɑrmz/ . a young knight who followed the banner of another.

  3. Also called house·hold knight [hous-hohld nahyt] /ˈhaʊs hoʊld ˈnaɪt/ . a landless knight.

Origin of bachelor

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English bacheler “squire, young knight,” from Old French; origin uncertain; probably from assumed Vulgar Latin baccalār(is) “tenant farmer, farm hand”; akin to Late Latin baccalāria “piece of land,” originallly plural of assumed baccalārium “dairy farm,” equivalent to assumed baccālis “pertaining to cows” (from bacca, variant of Latin vacca “cow” + -ālis + -ārium); see origin at -al1,-arium)

Other words from bachelor

  • bach·e·lor·like, adjective
  • bach·e·lor·ly, adjective
  • non·bach·e·lor, noun
  • pre·bach·e·lor, adjective, noun

Words Nearby bachelor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bachelor in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bachelor


/ (ˈbætʃələ, ˈbætʃlə) /

    • an unmarried man

    • (as modifier): a bachelor flat

    • a person who holds the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science, etc

    • the degree itself

  1. Also called: bachelor-at-arms (in the Middle Ages) a young knight serving a great noble

  2. bachelor seal a young male seal, esp a fur seal, that has not yet mated

Origin of bachelor

C13: from Old French bacheler youth, squire, from Vulgar Latin baccalāris (unattested) farm worker, of Celtic origin; compare Irish Gaelic bachlach peasant

usage For bachelor

Gender-neutral form: single person

Derived forms of bachelor

  • bachelorhood, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012