1. To reduce to the condition of a widow; to bereave of a husband; rarely used except in the past participle. "Though in thus city he Hath widowed and unchilded many a one, Which to this hour bewail the injury." (Shak)
2. To deprive of one who is loved; to strip of anything beloved or highly esteemed; to make desolate or bare; to bereave. "The widowed isle, in mourning, Dries up her tears." (Dryden) "Tress of their shriveled fruits Are widowed, dreary storms o'er all prevail." (J. Philips) "Mourn, widowed queen; forgotten Sion, mourn." (Heber)
4. To become, or survive as, the widow of. "Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all." (Shak)
Origin: Widowed; Widowing.
A woman who has lost her husband by death, and has not married again; one living bereaved of a husband. "A poor widow." Grass widow. See Grass. Widow bewitched, a woman separated from her husband; a grass widow. Widow-in-mourning, in London, the apparel and furniture of the bedchamber of the widow of a freeman, to which she was formerly entitled.
Origin: OE. Widewe, widwe, AS. Weoduwe, widuwe, wuduwe; akin to OFries. Widwe, OS. Widowa, D. Weduwe, G. Wittwe, witwe, OHG. Wituwa, witawa, Goth. Widuw, Russ. Udova, OIr. Fedb, W. Gweddw, L. Vidua, Skr. Vidhava; and probably to Skr. Vidh to be empty, to lack; cf. Gr. A bachelor. Cf. Vidual.
(01 Mar 1998)
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