[ wid-oh ]
/ ˈwɪd oʊ /

WATCH NOW: Words Matter: When A Wife Becomes A Widow

WATCH NOW: Words Matter: When A Wife Becomes A Widow

You lose your keys, you don't lose a person who's the whole world to you.



a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not remarried.
Cards. an additional hand or part of a hand, as one dealt to the table.
  1. a short last line of a paragraph, especially one less than half of the full measure or one consisting of only a single word.
  2. the last line of a paragraph when it is carried over to the top of the following page away from the rest of the paragraph.Compare orphan(def 4).
a woman often left alone because her husband devotes his free time to a hobby or sport (used in combination).Compare golf widow.

verb (used with object), wid·owed, wid·ow·ing.

Origin of widow

before 900; (noun) Middle English wid(e)we, Old English widuwe, wydewe; cognate with German Witwe, Gothic widuwo, Latin vidua (feminine of viduus bereaved), Sanskrit vidhavā widow; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun

Related forms

wid·ow·ly, adjectiveun·wid·owed, adjective

Can be confused

widow widower
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for widow

British Dictionary definitions for widow


/ (ˈwɪdəʊ) /


a woman who has survived her husband, esp one who has not remarried
(usually with a modifier) informal a woman whose husband frequently leaves her alone while he indulges in a sport, etca golf widow
printing a short line at the end of a paragraph, esp one that occurs as the top line of a page or columnCompare orphan (def. 3)
(in some card games) an additional hand or set of cards exposed on the table

verb (tr; usually passive)

to cause to become a widow or a widower
to deprive of something valued or desirable

Derived Forms

widowhood, noun

Word Origin for widow

Old English widuwe; related to German Witwe, Latin vidua (feminine of viduus deprived), Sanskrit vidhavā
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

Idioms and Phrases with widow


see grass widow.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.