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Word of the Day
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Definitions for dowager

  1. An elderly woman of stately dignity, especially one of elevated social position.
  2. A woman who holds some title or property from her deceased husband, especially the widow of a king, duke, etc.
  3. Noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of a dowager:

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Citations for dowager
Deeda Blair rhapsodized about the exquisite atmosphere of La Grenouille and La Caravelle, two of the leading temples of fine French cuisine, where she’d lunch with the dowager philanthropist Mary Lasker or the ubiquitous Nan Kempner in the early 1960s, when her husband, William McCormick Blair Jr., was J.F.K.’s ambassador to Denmark and they’d stop in New York on their way home to Washington. Bob Colacello, "Here's to the Ladies Who Lunched!," Vanity Fair, Feb. 2012
She trusted the dowager, and respected her deeply. But that wasn't the issue. Which world was she living in? For the time being, that was the point. Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
Origin of dowager
1520-1530
Dowager stems from the Latin word dotare meaning "to endow." In the middle French, it came to mean "pertaining to a dower," or the gift/payment that a wife's family gives her husband when they are married.