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[wid-oh-er] /ˈwɪd oʊ ər/
a man who has lost his spouse by death and has not remarried.
Origin of widower
late Middle English
1325-75; late Middle English (see widow, -er1); replacing widow (now dial.), Old English wydewa
Related forms
widowered, adjective
widowerhood, noun
Can be confused
widow, widower. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for widower
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. John Lambert was a millionnaire, a politician, and a widower.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • Jacob was tall and snuff-colored, a widower of three years' standing.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • His relations with her father and mother were like those on which a widower son-in-law might have stood.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • "If there were not an ordinance against the hurling of missiles," finished the widower.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • "They didn't bother Mr. Wetherford Swift," said the widower.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • "I'm afraid it looks rather bleak for Wetherford," said the widower.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
British Dictionary definitions for widower


a man whose wife has died and who has not remarried
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for widower

mid-14c., extended from widow. The Old English masc. form was widewa.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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