A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 190

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 190

Ba'chelor. n.s. [This is a word of very uncertain etymology, it not being well known what was its original sense. Junius derives it from βάκηλος, foolish; Menage, from bas chevalier, a knight of the lowest rank; Spelman, from baculus, a staff; Cujas, from buccella, an allowance of provision. The most probable derivation seems to be from bacca laurus, the berry of a laurel or bay; bachelors being young, are of good hopes, like laurels in the berry. In Latin, baccalaureus.]

  1. A man unmarried.

                                Such separation
    Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid.
    Shakesp. Midsummer Night's Dream.

    The haunting of those dissolute places, or resort to courtesans, are no more punished in married men than in bachelors. Bacon's New Atlantis.

    A true painter naturally delights in the liberty which belongs to the bachelor's estate. Dryden's Dufresnoy.

    Let sinful bachelors their woes deplore,
    Full well they merit all they feel, and more.

  2. A man who takes his first degrees at the university in any profession.

    Being a boy, new bachelor of arts, I chanced to speak against the pope. Ascham's Schoolmaster.

    I appear before your honour, in behalf of Martinus Scriblerus, bachelor of physick. Arbuthn. and Pope's Mart. Scriblerus.

  3. A knight of the lowest order. This is a sense no little used.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Ascham, Roger (10) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Cujas, Jacques (1) · Dryden, John (788) · Junius, Francis (23) · Menage, Gilles (5) · Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (28) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Spelman, Henry (4)

Attributes: French (385) · Greek (126) · Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Bachelor." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 25, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/bachelor/.

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