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1. Often Offensive A woman, especially an older one, who has not married.
2. Archaic A person, especially a woman, whose occupation is spinning thread.

[Middle English spinnestere, female spinner of thread : spinnen, to spin; see spin + -estere, -ster, -ster.]

spin′ster·hood′ n.
spin′ster·ish, spin′ster·ly adj.


adj (pej)altjüngferlich (pej)
References in periodicals archive ?
"So when it came to researching the girls and finding that on the whole they fared better than the boys and that the unmarried sisters fared significantly better than those who married, I vividly remember thinking that their lives of spinsterish gentility had naturally contributed to their longevity.
Despite some bumpy tonal shifts and inconsistencies of characterization, "Hello, My Name Is Doris" impresses as a humanely amusing and occasionally poignant dramedy about a spinsterish office drone who develops a romantic fixation on a much younger co-worker.
More odious still was Hobsbawm's sheer spinsterish euphemism.
Though Jane and Cassandra Austen were thought absurd for taking on overly spinsterish garb in their late twenties, I can see why they took the precaution.
Sargeson fails to articulate what that 'something' is that the story 'maybe' touches on, but his suggestion that 'It should please D'Arcy' suggests a concern with the archaic and romantic that defines Cresswell's verse, which Fairburn dismisses as 'spinsterish "paganism"' and 'pseudo-words-worthian pipes-of-pansy water lilies.' (28) Sargeson's story' stresses the incompatibility of the classical tradition in the New Zealand context.
Swooning isn't the spinsterish Nora's style, yet swoon she does.
Most of these spinsterish women live in the idyllic past or idealized future.
Walleyed, pipe-sucking, pasty-hued Sartre and his spinsterish moll, de Beauvoir, were usually propped in a corner like an abandoned pair of ventriloquist's dolls.
[...] By what retrograde lace-curtain shrinking from reality did our academics look to spinsterish French notions of the 'decentered subject'?
Roxana's reformation as a loyal wife and, after widowhood, compassionate mother is effected in the 1740 continuation, and is a corrective to, first, the sinful domesticity Roxana enjoyed as a courtesan and, second, the spinsterish domesticity eventually shared by Belinda and Cleomira in Haywood's novel.
(1) Examining Moore's ambiguous focus on gender in her poetic practice, Miller (1995: 104) quotes several feminist critics: Sandra Gilbert who points out Moore's "parodically spinsterish asexuality", Susanne Juhasz who similarly asserts that seeking critical recognition the poet "had to play by the boys rules" and "opted for nonsexuality", or Jeanne Heuving who argues against treating Moore as neuter and sexless, and who claims at the same time that she "did not make gender an important part of her public identity as a writer ...
"'As a Mamsell I am authoritarian, disciplined and spinsterish," the 40-year-old says of herself.