follow Dictionary.com

Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs

dowager

[dou-uh-jer] /ˈdaʊ ə dʒər/
noun
1.
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.
2.
an elderly woman of stately dignity, especially one of elevated social position:
a wealthy dowager.
adjective
3.
noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of a dowager:
the dowager duchess; to prefer a dowager style of dress.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; < Middle French douag(i)ere, equivalent to douage dower (see endow, -age) + -iere, feminine of -ier -ier2
Related forms
dowagerism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for dowager
  • The long, layered dowager necklaces of last fall are still holding strong, but taking on new incarnations.
  • Time for the dowager to hand over real powers to the frustrated princeling.
  • Or, in the case of its original guesthouses, the empress dowager.
  • Yellow silk was worn only by the emperor, empress, or empress dowager.
  • Left unattended, many fractures can result in an exaggerated rounded curvature of the spine, called kyphosis or dowager's hump.
  • Recipe for banishing dowager empresses- first catch your empress.
British Dictionary definitions for dowager

dowager

/ˈdaʊədʒə/
noun
1.
  1. a widow possessing property or a title obtained from her husband
  2. (as modifier): the dowager duchess
2.
a wealthy or dignified elderly woman
Word Origin
C16: from Old French douagiere, from douagedower
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dowager
n.

1520s, from Middle French douagere "widow with a dower" literally "pertaining to a dower," from douage "dower," from douer "endow," from Latin dotare, from dos (genitive dotis) "dowry" (see dowry).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Click to see easier and harder words for dowager

Word Value for dowager

12
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with dowager

Nearby words for dowager