Spinster Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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If you’re a 90s kid, chances are you’re familiar with the Third Street School administrator Muriel P. Finster from the beloved tv show Recess. Unlike Principal Prickly, who is a married man, Miss Finster is a spinster. What does the word spinster mean, you ask? We’ll tell you.

Read on to discover the definition behind this interesting term to uncover its definition, origin, and proper usage. By the end of this article, you won’t only have a good grasp on our word of the day, but you’ll understand why Miss Finster is referred to as a spinster, too. 

What Is the Definition of Spinster?

According to YourDictionary, a spinster (/ˈspɪnstər/ /ˈspɪn stər/ /ˈspɪnstə r/) is a woman, most commonly an elderly woman, that has not been married, though this is quite an offensive term. 

Spinster did not always hold this meaning; it was originally defined simply as a woman who spun yarn or thread; or a person, most chiefly a woman, whose occupation was as such. 

By the 17th century, the title of a spinster was given to women who spun thread or yarn in legal documents. 

What Is the Word Origin of Spinster?

Before we get ahead of ourselves here, how do we discover a word’s origin? Well, that’s simple; we look at its etymology! 

That’s fine and dandy, but what on earth is etymology, you ask? Simply put, etymology is the study of the origin of a word as well as how its meanings have changed throughout the course of time. 

Spinster was first coined in the mid-14th century., where it was defined as a female spinner of yarn or thread. Spinster is a derivative of the Middle English spinnen — spin fibers into thread.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Spinster?

A fantastic way to expand your knowledge of a new word is by reviewing its synonyms and antonyms. Additionally, learning synonyms and antonyms can help to make your spoken language and written text much more captivating!

To refresh your memory from grade school, a synonym is one of two words that have the same — or nearly the same — meaning in some or all senses. In contrast, an antonym is a word that has the opposite meaning of another word. 

Below you will find synonyms and antonyms of our word of the day, spinster, which have been provided by the Word Hippo Thesaurus.

What Are Synonyms of Spinster?

  • Virgin
  • Bachelorette 
  • Celibatist 
  • Lone woman 
  • Unmarried woman
  • Unattached female 
  • Single woman
  • Widow
  • Bachelor girl
  • Old maid
  • Woman going her own way
  • Bachelor
  • Prude
  • Maiden
  • Fuddy Duddy
  • Goody goody
  • Prig
  • Puritan
  • Bluenose
  • Killjoy
  • Schoolmarm
  • Pietist
  • Grundy
  • Mrs. grundy
  • Priggish person
  • Goody two shoes
  • Miss Primm
  • Moralist
  • Moral fanatic
  • Moral zealot
  • Nice nelly
  • Fussbudget
  • Snob
  • Tartuffe
  • Precisian
  • Pharisee
  • Not tied down
  • Footloose and fancy-free
  • Unattached 
  • Unhitched
  • Uncoupled 
  • Uncommitted
  • Young, free and single
  • Companionless
  • Left on the shelf
  • Sole
  • Without a partner
  • Nunlike
  • Hermit
  • Odd
  • A cappella
  • Deserted
  • Loner
  • With no ties
  • Monastic 

What Are Antonyms of Spinster?

  • Bride 
  • Married woman
  • Partner
  • Spouse
  • Wife
  • Helpmate
  • Helpmeet
  • Missus
  • Squeeze 
  • Better half
  • Old dutch
  • Trouble and strife
  • Wives and girlfriends
  • Little woman
  • Old woman
  • Blushing bride
  • Married
  • Attached
  • Espoused
  • Hitched
  • Wed
  • Wedded
  • Together
  • United
  • Marital
  • Nuptial
  • Conjugal
  • Connubial
  • Spousal
  • Mated
  • In a relationship
  • Joined in holy matrimony
  • Taken
  • Missis
  • Madam
  • Consort 

How Can You Use Spinster in a Sentence?

By now, you should have a pretty good grasp on the word spinster — time to test your newfound knowledge! We invite you to take a few minutes to quiz yourself and see how many correct sentences you can come up with using the word spinster. 

If you need some help to get you going, refer to our great sentence examples listed for you below:

You know they said I would always end up a lonely old spinster, but my cats keep better company than most humans, and I get to travel as often as I’d like. I simply can’t complain; I embrace it!

Watch out, man, the ol’ spinster, is in quite a tizzy today… You may want to steer clear of her classroom if you can.

Did you hear that it was left in her father’s will that if Sarah is to inherit the family fortune, she must remain a spinster? Even in death, that man is worried about his money more than his daughter’s happiness. 

We went to the fair and had our caricatures drawn, and somehow Marcee went from looking like the charming, young woman that she is to this elderly spinster-looking woman. As her brother, it is my duty to post this photo everywhere!

What Are Translations of Spinster?

Wondering how to say spinster in a different language? We’ve got you covered. Here are some common translations of spinster for you to study below:

  • American English — spinster 
  • Arabic — عَانِس 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — solteirona 
  • Chinese — 老处女 
  • Croatian — sindjelica 
  • Czech — stará panna 
  • British English — spinster
  • Danish — gammel jomfru 
  • Japanese — 独身女性 
  • Korean — 미혼여성 
  • Norwegian — peppermø 
  • Polish — stara panna 
  • European Portuguese — solteirona 
  • Romanian — fată bătrână
  • Russian — старая дева 
  • Spanish — solterona 
  • Swedish— gammal ungmö 
  • Thai — สาวทึนทึก
  • Turkish — kız kurusu 
  • Ukrainian — стара діва
  • Vietnamese — bà cô
  • Dutch — oude vrijster 
  • European Spanish — solterona 
  • Finnish — vanhapiika 
  • French — vieille fille 
  • German — alte Jungfer 
  • Greek — γεροντοκόρη 
  • Italian — zitella


In essence, a spinster is an unmarried and often older woman, so though you may look upon your single Aunt Margaret’s life as glamorous and independent, her mother, on the other hand, may simply dismiss her as a spinster. 

We hope you enjoyed learning about the word spinster. To discover more interesting terms, head on over to our website today!


What does spinster mean?: Best 9 Definitions of Spinster | Your Dictionary

Spinster definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

What is another word for spinster? | The Word Hippo