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merry widow

a woman's undergarment consisting of a strapless brassiere and short corset with attached garters. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for merry widow
Historical Examples
  • Some one suggests that it must have been a merry widow hat, but that's jesting, of course.

    The Patient Observer Simeon Strunsky
  • Housman then asked her to sing a song from The merry widow, which she did.

    Passing By Maurice Baring
  • "I think your description of Mrs. Halton as the merry widow is a particularly unfortunate one," remarked Lindfield.

    Daisy's Aunt E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson
  • You're doing the merry widow act while the old man's not looking.

    Golden Stories Various
  • It was an imported piece of the “merry widow” type, and everyone enjoyed it to the utmost.

    Dorothy's Triumph Evelyn Raymond
  • He pointed out that this would be the last time they could listen to the strains of the "merry widow Waltz."

    The Nature Faker Richard Harding Davis
  • In this he proved correct, for the merry widow girl could sing, and she could also act.

    To Love Margaret Peterson
  • It gets down to the plane of pure and sparkling idiocy that the world admires in, say, "The merry widow."

    Purcell John F. Runciman
  • As the eavesdropper slid to a seat a phonograph in front began the merry widow waltz.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
  • The merry widow gave the gang the wink, said Iky, cynically.

Word Origin and History for merry widow

Merry Widow

1907, from the English title of Franz Lehar's operetta "Die Lustige Witwe" (1905). "The Lusty Widow" would have been more etymological (see lust (n.)), but would have given the wrong impression in English. Meaning "a type of wide-brimmed hat" (popularized in the play) is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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