A spinster is an older, unmarried woman. Even if you're in awe of your Aunt Sally's glamorous, single life, your grandmother might dismiss her as a spinster.

Spinster originally meant "a spinner of thread," and as that was a job typically done by unmarried women, it came to have the meaning — even in legal documents — of "single woman." Another term for spinster is the equally old-fashioned sounding old maid. Either way, it means a woman who never got married. Spinster is not a word you should call anyone: it reduces single women to one detail about their lives.

Primary Meanings of spinster

an elderly unmarried woman
someone who spins (who twists fibers into threads)
Full Definitions of spinster

n an elderly unmarried woman

old maid
Type of:
unmarried woman
a woman who is not married

n someone who spins (who twists fibers into threads)

spinner, thread maker
Type of:
maker, shaper
a person who makes things

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