Grass widow
Widow Wid"ow (w[i^]d"[-o]), n. [OE. widewe, widwe, AS. weoduwe, widuwe, wuduwe; akin to OFries. widwe, OS. widowa, D. weduwe, G. wittwe, witwe, OHG. wituwa, witawa, Goth. widuw[=o], Russ. udova, OIr. fedb, W. gweddw, L. vidua, Skr. vidhav[=a]; and probably to Skr. vidh to be empty, to lack; cf. Gr. "hi`qeos a bachelor. [root]248. Cf. {Vidual}.] A woman who has lost her husband by death, and has not married again; one living bereaved of a husband. ``A poor widow.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. (Card Playing) In various games (such as ``hearts''), any extra hand or part of a hand, as one dealt to the table. It may be taken by one of the players under certain circumstances. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{Grass widow}. See under {Grass}.

{Widow bewitched}, a woman separated from her husband; a grass widow. [Colloq.]

{Widow-in-mourning} (Zo["o]l.), the macavahu.

{Widow monkey} (Zo["o]l.), a small South American monkey ({Callithrix lugens}); -- so called on account of its color, which is black except the dull whitish arms, neck, and face, and a ring of pure white around the face.

{Widow's chamber} (Eng. Law), in London, the apparel and furniture of the bedchamber of the widow of a freeman, to which she was formerly entitled. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • grass widow — n. 1. A woman who is divorced or separated from her husband. 2. A woman whose husband is temporarily absent. 3. An abandoned mistress. 4. The mother of a child born out of wedlock. ╂ [Perhaps in allusion to a bed of grass or hay.] …   Word Histories

  • Grass widow — Grass Grass, n. [OE. gras, gres, gers, AS, gr[ae]s, g[ae]rs; akin to OFries. gres, gers, OS., D., G., Icel., & Goth. gras, Dan. gr[ae]s, Sw. gr[aum]s, and prob. to E. green, grow. Cf. {Graze}.] 1. Popularly: Herbage; the plants which constitute… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grass widow — A grass widow is a woman whose husband is often away on work, leaving her on her own …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • grass widow — 1520s, originally discarded mistress (Cf. Ger. Strohwitwe, lit. straw widow ), probably in reference to casual bedding. Sense of married woman whose husband is absent is from 1846. [G]rasse wydowes ... be yet as seuerall as a barbours chayre and… …   Etymology dictionary

  • grass widow — n. [Early ModE, discarded mistress (similar to Du grasweduwe, Ger strohwittwe): prob. allusion is to bed of grass or straw as opposed to the conjugal bed] 1. a woman divorced or otherwise separated from her husband 2. a woman whose husband is… …   English World dictionary

  • grass widow —    a woman of marriageable age separated for an extended period from her husband    The derivation is from the grass of the hill stations to which wives were sent during the Indian hot season, or a corruption of grace widow? Originally it might… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • grass widow — noun a woman whose husband is away often or for a prolonged period. Origin C16 (denoting an unmarried woman with a child): from grass + widow, perh. from the idea of a couple having lain on the grass instead of in bed …   English new terms dictionary

  • grass widow —    A grass widow is a woman whose husband is often away on work, leaving her on her own.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Grass widow —   A grass widow is a woman whose husband is often away on work, leaving her on her own …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • grass widow — grass′ wid′ow n. 1) a woman who is separated, divorced, or lives apart from her husband 2) a woman whose husband is often away from home 3) Chiefly Dial. a) a mistress who has been cast aside b) a woman who has borne an illegitimate child •… …   From formal English to slang

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”