dowagerism

dowager

[dou-uh-jer]
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:
1520–30; < Middle French douag(i)ere, equivalent to douage dower (see endow, -age) + -iere, feminine of -ier -ier2

dowagerism, noun
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World English Dictionary
dowager (ˈdaʊədʒə)
 
n
1.  a.  a widow possessing property or a title obtained from her husband
 b.  (as modifier): the dowager duchess
2.  a wealthy or dignified elderly woman
 
[C16: from Old French douagiere, from douagedower]

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Word Origin & History

dowager
1530, from M.Fr. douagere "pertaining to a dower," from douage "dower," from douer "endow," from L. dotare, from dos (gen. dotis) "dowry" (see dowry).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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