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What do you call the state of being single, without a significant other?

  • Singlehood?
  • Singleness?
  • Singledom?
  • Solity?

I don't like the single+suffix varieties.


  1. I want something equality applicable to both men and women, and LGBTQWhatever, so no 'bachelor'-based stuff.
  2. I do not want imply that the norm is to be married, or that people should get married (or should stay un-married).
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closed as not a real question by coleopterist, Matt E. Эллен, Kate Gregory, tylerharms, Mitch Mar 20 '13 at 13:34

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

general reference - a question for a thesaurus –  EnergyNumbers Mar 20 '13 at 8:17
Changing your criteria after every answer is counter-productive. -1 and voting to close as NARQ. –  coleopterist Mar 20 '13 at 12:45
being single is being unmarried, so you have answered your own question I think –  ВГДЕЖЅZЗИІКЛМНОПҀРСТȢѸФХ Mar 20 '13 at 12:54
Given the state of my love life, one might say I have singularity. –  Matt E. Эллен Mar 20 '13 at 13:19
Unattached. See english.stackexchange.com/questions/106460/…. Given the difficulty people had with that one, I'm surprised this is considered general reference. –  Canis Lupus Mar 24 '13 at 18:31

5 Answers 5

And it's spinster for a woman. Another more casual word used lately is singleton.

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So, what would be the noun form? Singlety? Singletone-ness? –  einpoklum Mar 20 '13 at 8:51

If someone has a partner, then they’re taken. I suppose then that someone without a partner would then be not taken or available. That does assume that they’re in the partnership market, though.

One might also consider solitaire as a noun, meaning a solitary person, one who lives life alone.

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'available' is not specific enough. You could be available for hire, for example. Also, I might be with a partner and available at the same time. (PS I don't like the market metaphor, but that's not relevant to your answer...) –  einpoklum Mar 20 '13 at 12:25
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A couple of promising gender-neutral candidates are:

  • Unweddedness:

    From The Manly Art: bare-knuckle prize fighting in America by Elliott J. Gorn (2012):

    In some large cities unweddedness was so common that at mid-century, 40 percent of the men between twenty-five and thirty-five years of age were single. Irish immigrants contributed to this tendency, bringing a tradition of late marriage and ...

  • Spouselessness:

    From The Economist, Volume 382 (2007):

    Single gay diplomats are no longer disadvantaged by spouselessness. But those wanting to take their legally recognised partners with them face a lottery. The Netherlands gives same-sex partners full diplomatic privileges. America ...

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'Unweddendness' implies the normal/general state of an individual is in wedlock... which, historically, may have been the case, but it's not like that for my demographic and where I live. 'Spouselessness' is better, but it's an unwieldy tongue-twister... –  einpoklum Mar 20 '13 at 12:06

Celibacy, in one of its senses, is defined as the state of being unmarried or single.

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etymology please? –  einpoklum Mar 20 '13 at 12:05
@einpoklum From latin celebs which comes from a (supposed) greek term koi-leipes which means lacking of marriage bed. –  Bakuriu Mar 20 '13 at 13:04
I'm beginning to like your option, even though it means we have to educate people around the world to rethink the semantic relative to what they're used to... –  einpoklum Mar 20 '13 at 13:21

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