An example of a spinster is a woman in her sixties who lives alone.
- Archaic a woman who spins thread or yarn
- Archaic a woman who is not married, divorced, or widowed: used in legal documents
- Old-fashioned 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
- A woman who has never been married, especially one past the typical marrying age according to social traditions.
- One who spins (puts a spin on) a political media story so as to give something a favorable or advantageous appearance; a spin doctor, spin merchant or spin master.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
From spin +"Ž -ster, from a historical notion of unmarried women spinning thread for a living.