[ bach-ler, bach-uh-ler ]
/ ˈbætʃ lər, ˈbætʃ ə lər /
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an unmarried man.
a person who has been awarded a bachelor's degree.
a fur seal, especially a young male, kept from the breeding grounds by the older males.
Also called bach·e·lor-at-arms [bach-ler-uht-ahrmz] /ˈbætʃ lər ətˈɑrmz/ . a young knight who followed the banner of another.
Also called house·hold knight. a landless knight.



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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)


bach·e·lor·like, adjectivebach·e·lor·ly, adjectivenon·bach·e·lor, nounpre·bach·e·lor, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for bachelor

British Dictionary definitions for bachelor

/ (ˈbætʃələ, ˈbætʃlə) /


  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
Also called: bachelor-at-arms (in the Middle Ages) a young knight serving a great noble
bachelor seal a young male seal, esp a fur seal, that has not yet mated

Derived forms of bachelor

bachelorhood, 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

usage for bachelor

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