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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dowdyism

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 dowdyism
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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