- The definition of a spinster is an unmarried, middle-aged or older woman, or a woman who is divorced or widowed.
An example of a spinster is a woman in her sixties who lives alone.
- a woman who spins thread or yarn
- a woman who is not married, divorced, or widowed (used esp. in legal documents)
- a middle-aged or older woman who has never married
Origin of spinsterMiddle English ; from spinnen, to spin + -ster
- Often Offensive A woman, especially an older one, who has not married.
- Archaic A person, especially a woman, whose occupation is spinning thread.
Origin of spinsterMiddle English spinnestere, female spinner of thread : spinnen, to spin; see spin + -estere, -ster, -ster.
- spin′ster·ish, spin′ster·ly
From spin + -ster, from a historical notion of unmarried women spinning thread for a living.