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

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 His outlaw character beds a widow (Ireland) during a brief stop in an Old West town. Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Charles Bronson, man of dimensions: Much more to him than ‘Death Wish’," 28 Feb. 2018 In 1911, the 26-year-old Kokoschka met Alma Mahler, the 32-year-old widow of composer Gustav Mahler. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Painter of Ethereal Roughness," 7 Dec. 2018 Turns out she’s Lady Vernon, the widow of a British industrialist named Sir Michael Vernon—and a crew favorite, due to her naughty wit. Christopher Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "Sailing the South China Sea Is the Best Way to See Southeast Asia," 15 Nov. 2018 Another close friend is Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer on Impeaching Trump, Getting Out the Vote, and Winning in 2020," 14 Nov. 2018 The widow of a Massachusetts cop lashed out at the man accused of killing her husband in an emotional and vulgar outburst following a court hearing on Thursday. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Slain Massachusetts cop's widow confronts husband's accused killer with emotional outburst," 2 Oct. 2018 Resenting Phony Sentiments What to do with widows of jihadis killed in Syria? Abigail Van Buren, Houston Chronicle, "Fake flower prompts emotional reaction from offended widow," 6 June 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

12 Apr 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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