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Alternative forms[edit]


blowse +‎ -y



blowsy (comparative blowsier, superlative blowsiest)

  1. Having a reddish, coarse complexion, especially with a pudgy face.
    • 1778, Samuel Crisp, The early journals and letters of Fanny Burney[1], volume III, published 1994, page 188:
      They put me in mind of a poor Girl, a Miss Peachy (a real, & in the end, a melancholy Story)—she was a fine young Woman; but thinking herself too ruddy & blowsy, it was her Custom to bleed herself (an Art she had learn’d on purpose) 3 or 4 times against the Rugby Races in order to appear more dainty & Lady-like at the balls, &c
    • 1861, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], chapter XI, in Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe, Edinburgh, London: William Blackwood and Sons, →OCLC, part I, page 186:
      [] with a face made blowsy by the cold and damp.
    • 1913, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter 13, in The Day of Days:
      [] a man of, say, well-preserved sixty, with a blowsy plump face and fat white side-whiskers.
  2. (chiefly of a woman's hair or dress) Slovenly or unkempt, in the manner of a beggar or slattern.
  3. Unrefined, countrified.
    • 1921, John Buchan, chapter 11, in The Path of the King, London: Hodder and Stoughton, →OCLC:
      He longed for the warmth and the smells of his favourite haunts—Gilpin's with oysters frizzling in a dozen pans, and noble odours stealing from the tap-room, the Green Man with its tripe-suppers, Wanless's Coffee House, noted for its cuts of beef and its white puddings. He would give much to be in a chair by one of those hearths and in the thick of that blowsy fragrance.
    • 1934 October, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], Burmese Days, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, →OCLC:
      The hot, blowsy country, remote from danger, had a lonely, forgotten feeling.



  • blowsy”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.