Nonetheless, New York still viewed Washington as a dowdy country cousin, not quite up to the Big Money show.
Carla's choice of a mouse-gray suede Dior coat with pussycat bow was dismissed as dowdy.
She long ago shed the extra pounds, dowdy hair, and frumpy clothes.
The fact that Rice is a dowdy, silver-haired nun plays well in the Court of Public Opinion.
“I need to get some sleep,” dowdy said abruptly and headed off into one of the bedrooms.
I can't see their "beauty," no more than the charms of some dowdy old Dutch.
Henry perceived that his mother and his aunt were badly dressed—in truth, dowdy.
He wants me to dress like a dowdy, for all his wealth, and I can't buy a ring that he doesn't raise a terrible fuss.
You know you wouldn't like it if I went about in dowdy old things.
So that dowdy get-up is for my benefit, and is not habitual to her!
1580s (n.), "an aukward, ill-dressed, inelegant woman" [Johnson]; 1670s (adj.), perhaps a diminutive of doue "poorly dressed woman" (early 14c.), of uncertain origin. The modern use of dowd (n.) is most likely a back-formation from dowdy. "If plaine or homely, wee saie she is a doudie or a slut" [Barnabe Riche, "Riche his Farewell to Militarie profession," 1581].
You don't have to be dowdy to be a Christian. [Tammy Faye Bakker, "Newsweek," June 8, 1987]Related: Dowdily; dowdiness.