Synonyms for widow

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


The rest of the estate went to the testator's widow for life, and then to charity.

I am in the habit of boarding at a quiet house kept by a widow.

"I don't believe we shall quarrel on that point," said the widow, smiling.

Since 1830 the widow again supplicated the Tribune des Chambres.

She was a widow, and had loved her husband, and her sky was still tinged with grey.

In course of time he died, and his widow was exhorted to submit to the Will of God.

When she became a widow she was driven from her estates, but was happy to lead the life of poverty.

Eleazer White had been twice married, the second time to the widow West.

Traces of the French descent which the widow boasted of were apparent in Winnie too.

It must not be imagined that the Widow Verloc had forgotten her mother.


Old English widewe, widuwe, from Proto-Germanic *widewo (cf. Old Saxon widowa, Old Frisian widwe, Middle Dutch, Dutch weduwe, Dutch weeuw, Old High German wituwa, German Witwe, Gothic widuwo), from PIE adj. *widhewo (cf. Sanskrit vidhuh "lonely, solitary," vidhava "widow;" Avestan vithava, Latin vidua, Old Church Slavonic vidova, Russian vdova, Old Irish fedb, Welsh guedeu "widow;" Persian beva, Greek eitheos "unmarried man;" Latin viduus "bereft, void"), from root *weidh- "to separate" (cf. second element in Latin di-videre "to divide;" see with).

As a prefix to a name, attested from 1570s. Meaning "short line of type" (especially at the top of a column) is 1904 print shop slang. Widow's mite is from Mark xii:43. Widow's peak is from the belief that hair growing to a point on the forehead is an omen of early widowhood, suggestive of the "peak" of a widow's hood. Widow maker "anything lethally dangerous" first recorded 1945, originally among loggers, in reference to dead trees, etc. The widow bird (1747) so-called in reference to the long black tail feathers of the males, suggestive of widows' veils.



nounold woman
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.