From Middle French douagere, douagiere, from douage (“dower”), from the verb douer (“to endow”), from Latin dōtāre (“to endow”), from dōs, dōtis ("dowry").
dowager (plural dowagers)
- A widow holding property or title derived from her late husband.
1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 6, The Younger Set:
- “I don't mean all of your friends—only a small proportion—which, however, connects your circle with that deadly, idle, brainless bunch—the insolent chatterers at the opera, the gorged dowagers, […]!”
- Any lady of dignified bearing.
lady of dignified bearing