wid·​ow·​hood ˈwi-dō-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce widowhood (audio)
: the fact or state of being a widow
: the period during which a woman remains a widow

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web After hearing the performance, Berg’s formerly reserved but suddenly empowered wife, Helene, forcefully declared the opera complete and proceeded to dedicate what turned out to be an extended widowhood—forty-one years—to making certain that the unfinished act 3 remained unfinished. George B. Stauffer, The New York Review of Books, 8 June 2022 For someone who spent much of her life in the public eye, Noor — elegant as ever at 69 — remains something of an enigmatic figure after a long widowhood spent largely in the United States and Britain: deliberate in her utterances, immersed in humanitarian causes, never remarrying. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2021 The final section, Nell & Tig, contains four ruefully humorous stories about how Nell copes with widowhood. Priscilla Gilman, BostonGlobe.com, 23 Mar. 2023 Of course, that increases the likelihood of early widowhood and financial hardship. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2010 Margot Friedlander survived the Nazis’ labor camps in Germany, and then the pain of widowhood. Tracy Wilkinson Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2021 Her public image coalesced out of the combination of her imperial (literally, empire-building) majesty and her devoted, loyal widowhood. Vulture, 8 Sep. 2022 Each of us saw the other through great personal joys and also deep personal sadness, through illness, loss, and widowhood. Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 29 Sep. 2022 This year, Herwad became the first village in the state to prohibit widowhood rituals, followed by others. Kanika Gupta, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Aug. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'widowhood.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of widowhood was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near widowhood

Cite this Entry

“Widowhood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widowhood. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

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