Bachelor, a term applied anciently to a person in the first or probationary stage of knighthood who had not yet raised his standard in the field. It also denotes a person who has taken the first decree in the liberal arts and sciences, or in divinity, law, or medicine, at a college or university; or a man of any age who has not been married. A knight bachelor is one who has been raised to the dignity of a knight without being made a member of any of the orders of chivalry such as the Garter or the Thistle.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Bach"e*lor (?), n. [OF. bacheler young man, F. bachelier (cf.Pr. bacalar, Sp.bachiller, Pg. bacharel, It. baccalare), LL. baccalarius the tenant of a kind of farm called baccalaria, a soldier not old or rich enough to lead his retainers into battle with a banner, person of an inferior academical degree aspiring to a doctorate. In the latter sense, it was afterward changed to baccalaureus. See Baccalaureate, n.]

1.

A man of any age who has not been married.

As merry and mellow an old bachelor as ever followed a hound.
W. Irving.

2.

An unmarried woman.

[Obs.]

B. Jonson.

<-- p. 110 -->

3.

A person who has taken the first or lowest degree in the liberal arts, or in some branch of science, at a college or university; as, a bachelor of arts.

4.

A knight who had no standard of his own, but fought under the standard of another in the field; often, a young knight.

5.

In the companies of London tradesmen, one not yet admitted to wear the livery; a junior member.

[Obs.]

6. Zool.

A kind of bass, an edible fresh-water fish (Pomoxys annularis) of the southern United States.

 

© Webster 1913.

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