a woman who holds some title or property from her deceased husband, especially the widow of a king, duke, etc. (often used as an additional title to differentiate her from the wife of the present king, duke, etc.): a queen dowager; an empress dowager.
an elderly woman of stately dignity, especially one of elevated social position: a wealthy dowager.
noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of a dowager: the dowager duchess; to prefer a dowager style of dress.
Origin: 1520–30; < Middle Frenchdouag(i)ere, equivalent to douage dower (see endow, -age) + -iere, feminine of -ier-ier2