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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, “Chapter 11”, in Silas Marner:
      . . . 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) Slovenly or unkempt, in the manner of a beggar or slattern.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, chapter 8, in Pride and Prejudice:
      Her hair so untidy, so blowsy!
  3. Unrefined, countrified.
    • 1921, John Buchan, chapter 11, in The Path of the King:
      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, George Orwell, Burmese Days:
      The hot, blowsy country, remote from danger, had a lonely, forgotten feeling.



  • "blowsy" at OneLook® Dictionary Search.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.