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Definition of "spinster" [spin•ster]

  • A woman who has remained single beyond the conventional age for marrying. (noun)
  • A single woman. (noun)
  • A person whose occupation is spinning. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "spinster" in a sentence
  • "The term spinster — used today to refer to a woman who remains unmarried — originated with women who spent their adult years at the spinning wheel rather than raising a family."
  • "Women spun for their own households, and the term spinster was introduced."
  • "The headline's use of the term spinster is clearly a pejorative term that connotes an attempt to avoid degradation and disapproval by society by maintaining single-status beyond the time that society believes is appropriate."