[bach-uh-lerz, bach-lerz]


[bach-uh-ler, bach-ler]
  1. an unmarried man.
  2. a person who has been awarded a bachelor's degree.
  3. a fur seal, especially a young male, kept from the breeding grounds by the older males.
  4. Also called bachelor-at-arms. a young knight who followed the banner of another.
  5. Also called household knight. a landless knight.

Origin of bachelor

1250–1300; Middle English bacheler < Old French < Vulgar Latin *baccalār(is) farm hand; akin to Late Latin baccalāria piece of land, orig. plural of *baccalārium dairy farm, equivalent to *baccālis of cows (bacca, variant of Latin vacca cow + -ālis -al1) + -ārium place
Related formsbach·e·lor·like, adjectivebach·e·lor·ly, adjectivenon·bach·e·lor, nounpre·bach·e·lor, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bachelor's

degree, PhD

British Dictionary definitions for bachelor's


    1. an unmarried man
    2. (as modifier)a bachelor flat
    1. a person who holds the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science, etc
    2. 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
Derived Formsbachelorhood, noun

Word Origin for bachelor

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


Gender-neutral form: single person
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

Word Origin and History for bachelor's



c.1300, "young man;" also "youthful knight, novice in arms," from Old French bacheler (11c.) "knight bachelor," a young squire in training for knighthood, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Medieval Latin baccalarius "vassal farmer," one who helps or tends a baccalaria "section of land." Or from Latin baculum "a stick," because the squire would practice with a staff, not a sword. Meaning evolved from "knight in training" to "young unmarried man" (early 14c.). Bachelor party as a pre-wedding ritual is from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper