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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English spynnester (woman who spins fibre); equivalent to spin +‎ -ster. The semantic development is from a historical notion of unmarried women spinning thread for a living.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

spinster (plural spinsters)

  1. (dated, sometimes derogatory) A woman who has never been married, especially one past the typical marrying age according to social traditions.
    Synonym: old maid
    • Coke
      If a gentlewoman be termed a spinster, she may abate the writ.
  2. 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.
  3. (obsolete) Someone whose occupation was spinning thread.
    • ~1601, William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, act II, scene IV:
      The spinsters and the knitters in the sun.
  4. (obsolete) A woman of evil life and character; so called from being forced to spin in a house of correction.
  5. (rare) A spider; an insect (such as a silkworm) which spins thread.

TranslationsEdit

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DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From spinnen (to spin) +‎ -ster

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

spinster f (plural spinsters, diminutive spinstertje n)

  1. a female spinner