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dowdy1

[dou-dee] /ˈdaʊ di/
adjective, dowdier, dowdiest.
1.
not stylish; drab; old-fashioned:
Why do you always wear those dowdy old dresses?
2.
not neat or tidy; shabby.
noun, plural dowdies.
3.
a dowdy woman.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English doude unattractive woman (of uncertain origin) + -y1 or -y2
Related forms
dowdily, adverb
dowdiness, noun
dowdyish, adjective
dowdyism, noun
Synonyms
1. frumpy.
Antonyms
1. fashionable, stylish.

dowdy2

[dou-dee] /ˈdaʊ di/
noun, plural dowdies.
Origin
1935-40; short form
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for dowdy
  • The stage is littered with empty soda cans, dusty phonographs, articles of dowdy clothing and flung shoes.
  • His low-res computer graphics struck some as dowdy and irrelevant, and so did his target market.
  • Here are seven well-priced coats that are chic enough to break through those dowdy gray clouds.
  • In its new marketing campaign, the footwear company is trying to move beyond the image of its dowdy clog original.
  • And if it wasn't the apron, it was its dowdy relative, the housedress.
  • If they are able to find easy-access clothing, it is often dowdy.
  • Underneath her rolls of fat and dowdy dresses beats the heart of a peevish grandame.
  • These are good dowdy stocks for downturns in the market.
  • It is a conventional and even dowdy uniform if one wears it without some wink of impiety.
  • After a decade or so of frenzied development, the region's once-dowdy urban landscapes have changed beyond recognition.
British Dictionary definitions for dowdy

dowdy

/ˈdaʊdɪ/
adjective -dier, -diest
1.
(esp of a woman's dress) drab, unflattering, and old-fashioned
noun (pl) -dies
2.
a dowdy woman
Derived Forms
dowdily, adverb
dowdiness, noun
dowdyish, adjective
Word Origin
C14: dowd slut, of unknown origin
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
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Word Origin and History for dowdy
dowdy
1580s (n.), 1670s (adj.), probably dim. 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" [1581].
"You don't have to be dowdy to be a Christian." [Tammy Faye Bakker, "Newsweek," June 8, 1987]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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