dowdy

adjective
\ 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

dowdy

noun (1)
plural dowdies

Definition of dowdy (Entry 2 of 3)

archaic
: a dowdy woman

dowdy

noun (2)

Definition of dowdy (Entry 3 of 3)

Other Words from dowdy

Adjective

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for dowdy

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Adjective

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

Learn More About dowdy

Dictionary Entries Near dowdy

Dowden

dowdy

dowel

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dowdy

Cite this Entry

“Dowdy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dowdy. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for dowdy

dowdy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dowdy

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

dowdy

adjective
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on dowdy

Nglish: Translation of dowdy for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!