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 Boseman’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, has given a series of moving acceptance speeches for the late actor at multiple virtual awards ceremonies this year including the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and NAACP Image Awards. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, "How the Oscars completely botched the ending," 26 Apr. 2021 Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s widow, has often accepted previous honors on his behalf. BostonGlobe.com, "An Oscars unlike any other to get underway Sunday," 25 Apr. 2021 Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s widow, has often accepted previous honors on his behalf. Jake Coyle, Chron, "An Oscars unlike any other to get underway Sunday," 25 Apr. 2021 Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s widow, has often accepted previous honors on his behalf. Jake Coyle, Anchorage Daily News, "With no crowds, new venue, reinvented Oscars set for takeoff," 25 Apr. 2021 Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s widow, has often accepted previous honors on his behalf. The Salt Lake Tribune, "An Oscars unlike any other to get underway Sunday," 25 Apr. 2021 Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s widow, has often accepted previous honors on his behalf. Jake Coyle, chicagotribune.com, "An Oscars unlike any other to get underway Sunday, and how to watch it," 25 Apr. 2021 Nomadland, based on Jessica Bruder's 2017 nonfiction book by the same name, follows a widow named Fern (McDormand) in her 60s who embarks on a journey through the American West after the collapse of her company town in rural Nevada. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "Frances McDormand Jokes 2021 Oscars Should Have Had a 'Karaoke Bar' as She Wins Best Actress," 25 Apr. 2021 The musical relates familiar parables from the Gospels — the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, the uncaring judge and the persistent widow — interspersed with catchy tunes. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Garden’s spirited ‘Godspell’ isn’t Gospel perfect | Review," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Elaine Lubkin, who has been widowed for 10 years, gets lonely cooped up alone in her 11th-floor apartment at Park La Brea. Los Angeles Times, "Older does not equal expendable. We need to act in a way that protects our elders from coronavirus," 9 May 2020 Approximately 40% of Kentucky's seniors are divorced, separated or widowed, and 28% live alone, according to a 2018 report from the United Health Foundation. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Social isolation puts seniors' health at risk. The coronavirus is cutting them off further," 19 Mar. 2020 His wife, Diane Hicks, was suddenly widowed with three children. cincinnati.com, "Death, lies and uranium: How an Ohio man’s mysterious disappearance in 1984 still haunts family, friends," 17 Mar. 2020 Yet Afghanistan has been so scarred by violence — tens of thousands of civilians killed, a generation of women widowed, the security forces barely able to recruit enough to replace their losses — that even a vague prospect of peace was welcome. Lara Jakes, New York Times, "Afghan Peace Plan Faces Its First Roadblock: Releasing Taliban Prisoners," 1 Mar. 2020 His mother, widowed at 43, had to get a job cleaning houses for the wealthy in Beverly Hills. Time, "74 Years Later, California Skeleton Identified as Japanese Internment Camp Detainee," 3 Jan. 2020 Then a visit from Bill’s widowed, deeply religious mother Grammy Sue (Elizabeth Price) becomes, over the course of the 75-minute play, a catalyst for change. Christine Dolen, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: New City Players’ ‘Falling’ plunges into a family’s life coping with autism," 11 Oct. 2019 Making of a lady lawyer Lockwood was widowed at 22 and had a young daughter. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Belva Lockwood is the most badass American hero you don’t know," 5 Oct. 2019 My own research on the town of Southampton found that in 1698, 34.2% of women over 18 were single, another 18.5% were widowed, and less than half, or 47.3%, were married. Amy Froide, The Conversation, "Spinster, old maid or self-partnered – why words for single women have changed through time," 2 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for widow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for widow

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Widow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widow. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for widow

Nglish: Translation of widow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of widow for Arabic Speakers

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