A medieval singlewoman also unmarried , unwed , spinster , husbandless , maiden refers to a woman born between the 5th and 15th century c. This category of singlewomen does not include widows or divorcees, which are terms used to describe women who were married at one point in their lives. During the Middle Ages, lifelong spinsters came from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, though elite women were less likely to be single than peasants or townswomen. Before , the term "singlewomen" is defined as women who lived without having married which includes women who would eventually marry in their lifetime and women who never would. Women who were single for life fell under the category of lifelong singlewomen. It is important to distinguish singlewomen from virginal nuns, another group of husbandless women.