wid·​ow·​hood | \ ˈwi-dō-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce widowhood (audio) , -də-\

Definition of widowhood

1 : the fact or state of being a widow
2 : the period during which a woman remains a widow

Examples of widowhood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

During the long years of widowhood, women at my mother’s retirement home fought loneliness. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, "Loving loyalty to LL Bean," 7 Aug. 2019 The rules of inheritance kept women from owning property except in a few circumstances, including in widowhood. Karin Wulf, Smithsonian, "This Long-Ignored Document, Written by George Washington, Lays Bare the Legal Power of Geneaology," 18 June 2019 As life expectancy rises, more retirees face the higher risk of poverty associated with declining resources and widowhood. Alicia H. Munnell, WSJ, "Four Simple Changes to Bring Social Security Into the 21st Century," 16 Dec. 2018 Unfortunate medical conditions, widowhood and grief are frequent themes. Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle, "Science fiction and fantasy books: ‘Belly Up,’ ‘What Should Be Wild,’ ‘84K’," 7 June 2018 Not coincidentally, a small-r republican movement flourished in Britain off and on during Victoria's 40 years of grim-faced widowhood. Patt Morrison, latimes.com, "After centuries of practice, Britain's royals figure out how to turn a wedding into a global watch party," 17 May 2018 Facing widowhood, and the realities of aging, a handful of Brits decide to flip retirement on its head. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 45 Best Travel Films of All Time," 11 May 2018 Eleanor, who still wanted an annulment (or maybe a widowhood), travelled in her own ship with her own retinue. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Eleanor of Aquitaine," 4 Apr. 2018 In fact, the real faces of war are torn and displaced communities, women suffering the ravages of rape and widowhood, children with missing limbs and orphans without the hope of education and health care. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "A Texas congresswoman said women are just as responsible for preventing sexual assault," 19 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'widowhood.' 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 widowhood

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

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Statistics for widowhood

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for widowhood

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on widowhood

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with widowhood

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about widowhood

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