widow

noun
wid·​ow | \ ˈwi-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce widow (audio) \

Definition of widow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a woman who has lost her spouse or partner by death and usually has not remarried
c : a woman whose spouse or partner leaves her alone or ignores her frequently or for long periods to engage in a usually specified activity a golf widow a video game widow
2 : an extra hand or part of a hand of cards dealt face down and usually placed at the disposal of the highest bidder
3 : a single usually short last line (as of a paragraph) separated from its related text and appearing at the top of a printed page or column

widow

verb
widowed; widowing; widows

Definition of widow (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to become a widow or widower
2 obsolete : to survive as the widow of
3 : to deprive of something greatly valued or needed

Examples of widow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For those of you not in the know, Prince Harry has a very important BFF named Daphne Dunne, who's an (adorably sweet) Australian war widow. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Read the Surprise Letter Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Wrote to Their Most Devoted Fan," 29 Mar. 2019 Unlike many women of the era, widows were allowed the independence necessary for running a business. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "You Have the Founding Mothers of Champagne to Thank for the Bubbly You Drink Today," 8 Mar. 2019 But that hasn't stopped Australian tabloids from spreading gossip that the widow dated Australian actor Russell Crowe. Katina Beniaris, Woman's Day, "Steve Irwin's Wife Reveals the Heartbreaking Reason Why She Hasn't Dated Since He Died," 22 Feb. 2019 For the past decade, Moore's brother and widow—who is now the brother's wife—have been on a mission to find out what happened, especially since the Department of Defense has offered them little information. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "The pilot was shot down, assumed dead. Then, his family heard about the Russians.," 15 June 2018 That survivor told Verena about SEVOTA (Solidarity for the Growth of Widows and Orphans Through Work and Self-Promotion), an organization of genocide widows and children of rape, intended to support them financially and psychologically. Caterina Clerici & Eléonore Hamelin, Marie Claire, "Rwanda's Future Is Female," 1 Feb. 2019 The politicizing of military widows is touching a nerve 5. Richard Deitsch, SI.com, "Media Circus: How Critical Will ESPN Be of Jon Gruden’s Coaching Tenure With the Raiders?," 7 Jan. 2018 Michael’s death, caused by an undiagnosed complication from a gunshot wound, left Jane a bereaved widow. Maria Tallarico, Glamour, "9 Jane the Virgin Fan Theories That Will Keep You Up at Night," 11 Jan. 2019 Melina, a recent widow, has fallen in love with Lidia's husband, a gentle, devoted man who provides support for Melina after the death of her husband. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In a fictional Pakistani town, Nargis, a prominent architect, is suddenly widowed after her husband is killed in an attack. Joumana Khatib, New York Times, "New in Paperback: ‘Priestdaddy,’ ‘The Golden Legend’," 4 May 2018 In a report released on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, researchers found that melanoma patients who are married tend to be diagnosed at an earlier more treatable stage than patients who are unmarried, widowed or divorced. Washington Post, "Spouses can boost early detection for melanoma patients," 18 Apr. 2018 Sorry for Your Loss stars a magnificent Elizabeth Olsen as Leigh, a writer who was recently widowed and is trying to piece her life back together. Pilot Viruet, The Verge, "The 12 best overlooked TV shows of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 McCain’s office said on Sunday that Larson, who died in 2014, had reserved four plots at the site — for himself, McCain and their wives, both now widows. Laurie Kellman, The Seattle Times, "McCain to be buried near best friend at US Naval Academy," 27 Aug. 2018 The pageant is for women 26 years of age and older who are single, divorced, widowed or married, PRNewswire added. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Former Houston attorney crowned 2018 Ms. International," 20 Mar. 2018 The most common reason [I’ve seen] for requesting a reversal is a change in relationship like divorce, or [becoming widowed]. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "Childfree by Choice: When You Don't Want Kids—But Your Doctor Won't Listen," 1 Mar. 2018 McCain's office said on Sunday that Larson, who died in 2014, had reserved four plots at the site — for himself, McCain and their wives, both now widows. Laurie Kellman, Fox News, "McCain to be buried near best friend at US Naval Academy," 27 Aug. 2018 Godless’’ embraces the tropes of both a rollicking ’50s western and the darkly philosophical anti-westerns of the late ’60s and early ’70s, but with the feminist twist of an 1880s mining town run entirely by women widowed by a silver-mine collapse. Scott Tobias, BostonGlobe.com, "How TV has brought the western into the 21st century," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'widow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of widow

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for widow

Noun

Middle English widewe, from Old English wuduwe; akin to Old High German wituwa widow, Latin vidua, Sanskrit vidhavā, Latin -videre to separate

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Statistics for widow

Last Updated

10 May 2019

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Time Traveler for widow

The first known use of widow was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for widow

widow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of widow

: a woman whose husband has died
informal : a woman whose husband often leaves her alone while he plays sports or is involved in other activities

widow

noun
wid·​ow | \ ˈwi-dō How to pronounce widow (audio) \

Kids Definition of widow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a woman whose husband is dead

widow

verb
widowed; widowing

Kids Definition of widow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a widow or widower of

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More from Merriam-Webster on widow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with widow

Spanish Central: Translation of widow

Nglish: Translation of widow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of widow for Arabic Speakers

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