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Difference Between Bachelor and Celibate

Bachelor vs Celibate

The words “bachelor” and “celibate” are often confused with each other, but they are very different from each other and are not at all interchangeable. One must use these words in the right context.

“Bachelor” is specifically a man. The word is not used for women who have not been married. A man who has not been married might or might not be sexually active. A man is referred to as a “bachelor” according to his marital status. He may or may not be sexually active; he may or may not have children, but he is unmarried and has remained so. A woman is never called a bachelor, but “bachelor girl” is used for women who are young, independent, and not married.

There are many words related to “bachelor” as “bachelorhood,” “bachelorship,” “confirmed bachelor,” “most eligible bachelor,” and “lifelong bachelor,” etc. “Bachelorhood” refers to the time in the life of a man until he is married. “Lifelong bachelor” refers to a man who never got married and his status, no matter what his age, is still that of a bachelor that is unmarried. “Most eligible bachelor” refers to a man who is considered most suitable for marriage. “Confirmed bachelor” actually means a person who has no interest in getting married or commitment towards any relationship. However, before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, a “confirmed bachelor” was used as a code word for homosexual men. Today, this is not the case. No codes are used to refer to a homosexual person. He is simply referred to as “gay.” “Bachelorship” refers to the qualification of an unmarried man. The word “Bachelor” is also used for degrees acquired, and this degree can be used for men as well as women, for instance, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts, etc.


“Celibate” refers to a person, regardless of gender, who abstains from sexual activity, marriages, and any kind of sexual relationships. This person never gets married and generally has religious reasons to follow a certain way of life. Celibacy is the way of life a celibate person chooses to follow.

Celibacy, as discussed, is voluntary, and people choose to remain celibate. Sometimes a person does not choose to stay celibate and still remains so due to many social reasons. This is called “involuntary celibacy” or a person being involuntarily celibate.


1.A bachelor is a man who has not been married; he may or may not be sexually active and may or may not have children whereas “celibate” is a person, not necessarily a man, who abstains from sexual activity and marriage.

2.Being a bachelor is a matter of choice. There are many different words related to a bachelor whereas being celibate is also a choice but the reasons are usually religious. Involuntary celibacy is a celibate person who does not choose to be celibate but remains so due to personal reasons.

3.“Bachelor” refers to a degree also.

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