[ dou-uh-jer ]
/ ˈdaʊ ə dʒər /


a woman who holds some title or property from her deceased husband, especially the widow of a king, duke, etc. (often used as an additional title to differentiate her from the wife of the present king, duke, etc.): a queen dowager; an empress dowager.
an elderly woman of stately dignity, especially one of elevated social position: a wealthy dowager.


noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of a dowager: the dowager duchess; to prefer a dowager style of dress.

Origin of dowager

1520–30; < Middle French douag(i)ere, equivalent to douage dower (see endow, -age) + -iere, feminine of -ier -ier2


dow·a·ger·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dowager

British Dictionary definitions for dowager

/ (ˈdaʊədʒə) /


  1. a widow possessing property or a title obtained from her husband
  2. (as modifier)the dowager duchess
a wealthy or dignified elderly woman

Word Origin for dowager

C16: from Old French douagiere, from douage dower
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