- a woman who is separated, divorced, or lives apart from her husband.
- a woman whose husband is away from home frequently or for a long time, as on business or to pursue a sport or hobby.
- a discarded mistress.
- a woman who has borne an illegitimate child.
Origin of grass widow
Examples from the Web for grass widow
Historical Examples of grass widow
My Lyddy does not care about being a grass-widow, gentlemen.The Silent House
Far be it from me to assert that every Hill grass-widow forgets her absent husband.Life in an Indian Outpost
Samuel could not imagine his grass-widow, Mrs. De Ferriac, causing any very righteous blows on her own account.Flappers and Philosophers
F. Scott Fitzgerald
But she did not fancy Simla in the season as a grass-widow, and had had quite enough of being alone.Forty-one years in India
Frederick Sleigh Roberts
May I be forgiven for saying so, but in Lublin, in the Jewish quarter, there isn't a house without a grass-widow!Stories and Pictures
Isaac Loeb Peretz
- a woman divorced, separated, or living away from her spouse
- a woman whose spouse is regularly away for short periods
Word Origin for grass widow
1520s, originally "discarded mistress" (cf. German Strohwitwe, literally "straw-widow"), probably in reference to casual bedding. Sense of "married woman whose husband is absent" is from 1846.
[G]rasse wydowes ... be yet as seuerall as a barbours chayre and neuer take but one at onys. [More, 1528]
A woman who is separated from her husband, either by divorce or temporary absence. For example, She's a grass widow these days, with Herb traveling to golf tournaments all over the country. The expression dates from the 16th century, when it referred to the mother of an illegitimate child, grass presumably alluding to the open-air setting of the child's conception.