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From Old English widewe, wuduwe, widuwe (widow), from Proto-Germanic *widuwǭ, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁widʰéwh₂. Cognates include German Witwe, Dutch weduwe, Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌳𐌿𐍅𐍉 (widuwō), Old Irish fedb, Latin vidua, Old Church Slavonic въдова (vŭdova), and Sanskrit विधवा (vidhavā).



widow (plural widows)

  1. A woman whose spouse has died (and who has not remarried); feminine of widower.
  2. (uncommon) A person whose spouse has died (and who has not remarried).
  3. (informal, in combination) A woman whose husband is often away pursuing a sport, etc.
  4. (card games) An additional hand of cards dealt face down in some card games, to be used by the highest bidder.
  5. (printing) A single line of type that ends a paragraph, carried over to the next page or column.
  6. A venomous spider, of the genus Latrodectus.

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widow (third-person singular simple present widows, present participle widowing, simple past and past participle widowed)

  1. (transitive) To make a widow or widower of someone; to cause the death of the spouse of.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To strip of anything valued.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To endow with a widow's right.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To be widow to.