from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A widow who holds a title or property derived from her deceased husband.
- n. An elderly woman of high social station.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A widow holding property or title derived from her late husband.
- n. Any lady of dignified bearing.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A widow endowed, or having a jointure; a widow who either enjoys a dower from her deceased husband, or has property of her own brought by her to her husband on marriage, and settled on her after his decease.
- n. A title given in England to a widow, to distinguish her from the wife of her husband's heir bearing the same name; -- chiefly applied to widows of personages of rank.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In law, a widow endowed or possessed of a jointure.
- n. A title given to a widow to distinguish her from the wife of her husband's heir bearing the same name: applied particularly to the widows of princes and persons of rank.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a widow holding property received from her deceased husband
I guess a dowager is actually always a woman who inherits property from her dead husband.
Now the maid had never heard the word dowager in her life, but thought she would make a shot for it, so when his reverence asked if Mrs. MacCarthy was at home, she blurted out: --
It distinguished the dowager Mrs. Smith from the wife of her eldest son; today the word dowager, imitating the English usage, is frequently employed in fashionable society.
Now the maid had never heard the word dowager in her life, but thought she would make a shot for it, so when his reverence asked if Mrs. MacCarthy was at home, she blurted out: ” 'No, sir, but the badger is.'
Mrs. Booker T. Washington, but they were women that were more like what you would call the dowager or the ladylike type of thing.
A dowager is a woman who doesn't dance: and her male attendant is -- what is he?
I fully admit that I just now had to look up the word "dowager" in the dictionary, and he's sort of correct.
It was quite suitable for a "dowager" of Miss Allen's age and type, but rather oppressive and overpowering for a girl of eighteen, though it fitted my slender figure well enough, Miss Allen being of a spinster-like thinness.
These suspicions were increased when that lady, now known as the dowager empress, designated her four-year-old nephew, the son of her sister and Hsien-feng’s brother, heir to the throne.
They did so; but when the "dowager" opened the door at their knock, they hardly knew her.