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BACHELOR. The first degree taken at the universities in the arts and sciences, as bachelor of arts, & c. It is called, in Latin, Baccalaureus, from bacalus, or bacillus, a staff, because a staff was given, by way of distinction, into the hands of those who had completed their studies. Some, however, have derived the word from baccalaura, others from bas chevalier, as designating young squires who aspire to the knighthood. (Dupin.) But the derivation. of the word is uncertain.