\ ˈdau̇-dē How to pronounce dowdy (audio) \
dowdier; dowdiest

Definition of dowdy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not neat or becoming in appearance : shabby a dowdy old hat
2a : lacking smartness or taste a dowdy room
b : old-fashioned a dowdy institution


noun (1)
plural dowdies

Definition of dowdy (Entry 2 of 3)

: a dowdy woman


noun (2)

Definition of dowdy (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from dowdy


dowdily \ ˈdau̇-​də-​lē How to pronounce dowdily (audio) \ adverb
dowdiness \ ˈdau̇-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce dowdiness (audio) \ noun
dowdyish \ ˈdau̇-​dē-​ish How to pronounce dowdyish (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for dowdy

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of dowdy in a Sentence

Adjective She played a dowdy old woman in the film. the dowdy, beat-up furniture at the cheap motel

First Known Use of dowdy


1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1581, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dowdy

Noun (1)

diminutive of dowd dowdy, from Middle English doude

Noun (2)

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for dowdy

Time Traveler

The first known use of dowdy was in 1581

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Statistics for dowdy

Cite this Entry

“Dowdy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for dowdy


How to pronounce dowdy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dowdy

: having a dull or uninteresting appearance : not attractive or stylish


\ ˈdau̇-dē How to pronounce dowdy (audio) \
dowdier; dowdiest

Kids Definition of dowdy

1 : not neatly or well dressed or cared for She plays a dowdy old woman in the movie.
2 : not stylish a dowdy dress

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More from Merriam-Webster on dowdy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dowdy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dowdy

Spanish Central: Translation of dowdy

Nglish: Translation of dowdy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dowdy

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