widow


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golf widow

A woman whose husband frequently absents himself from home so as to go and play golf. I thought I would finally see more of John after his retirement, but I became a golf widow instead.
See also: golf, widow

grass widow

1. A woman who lives apart from her husband due to a job location or other circumstances. The politician's wife has become a grass widow ever since he started campaigning for office.
2. A woman who is divorced or separated from her spouse. If you never get married, you'll never have to worry about becoming a grass widow.
3. A mistress who is no longer wanted. The town referred to Judy as a grass widow after the man she was seeing decided to return to his wife.
4. The mother of an illegitimate child. When they discovered that Maria had had her son out of wedlock, they cruelly called her a grass widow.
See also: grass, widow

widow's mite

A small monetary contribution made by one who is poor. Edna hardly has any money, and she still gives the church a widow's mite.
See also: mite

widow's peak

A point in the hairline in the middle of one's forehead. Now known to be a genetic trait, it was once believed to indicate early widowhood. My sister has a widow's peak. Does this haircut make my widow's peak too noticeable?

grass widow

a woman abandoned by her husband. (The origin of this is not clear.) Jane's husband isn't dead, but she's a widow just the same—a grass widow. Bill ran off and left Mary a grass widow.
See also: grass, widow

grass widow

A woman who is separated from her husband, either by divorce or temporary absence. For example, She's a grass widow these days, with Herb traveling to golf tournaments all over the country . The expression dates from the 16th century, when it referred to the mother of an illegitimate child, grass presumably alluding to the open-air setting of the child's conception.
See also: grass, widow

a widow's cruse

an apparently small supply that proves inexhaustible.
In the Bible, 1 Kings 17 tells the story of the widow to whom Elijah was sent for sustenance. When he asked her for bread, she replied that all she had for herself and her son was ‘an handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil in a cruse’ (a cruse was a small earthenware pot or jar). Elijah told her to make him a cake from these ingredients and then to make food for herself and her son as God had decreed that the containers should be continually replenished.

a widow's mite

a small monetary contribution from someone who is poor.
This phrase comes from a story recounted in Mark 12:41–4. A poor widow donated two mites (coins of very low value) to the treasury of the Temple in Jerusalem, a sum which constituted all the money she possessed. Witnessing this act, Jesus told his disciples that she had given more than the richest contributor because she had given all that she had.
See also: mite

widow-maker

n. a dangerous horse; anything dangerous: a gun, strong alcohol, etc. I call this stuff widow-maker. It’s really strong.

grass widow

A woman temporarily or permanently separated from her husband. Many times during and after the American West was settled, farmers decided that they had enough of such a bleak life, whereupon they left their wives and children. These abandoned women were known as grass widows, left out to grass on the Great Plains. (The phrase is, however, much older. It was first used in 16th-century England to describe women of easy virtue who “slept” on beds of grass instead of mattresses and bed linen.) “Grass widow” came to be applied to the wives of traveling salesmen, professional athletes, and other men who spent much of their year on the road. As that usage became obsolete, similar phrases appeared: golf widow, fishing or hunting widow, and any other sport that claimed their hubby's attention.
See also: grass, widow

widow's weeds

Female mourning costume. The word “weed” comes from an Old English word for “garment.” As a phrase to wear widow's weeds simply means to be in mourning. Many cultures have had or still have a custom of wearing distinctive clothing to mark a husband's death. In Victorian England, for example, a widow wore black for the first year and a day, then moved through dark purple and other somber colors to lighter shades. However, the queen who gave her name to the era wore no other color than black after the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert. Many widows in many Mediterranean countries, most notable Greece and southern Italy, wear black for the rest of their lives.
See also: weed
References in periodicals archive ?
Julie's husband had fought in the Vietnam War and died suddenly, two years prior to the interview, of a war-related illness, leaving her a widow at 49.
Later, during this same chapter, the Widow again resists her negative animus when she speaks with the Apostle.
When Hanna runs into the Count Danilo, an old flame, in Paris the Count's countrymen insist it is his duty to marry the widow and keep her fortune in Marsovia.
First performed in 1905, at the Theater an der Wien, in Vienna, The Merry Widow tells the story of a group of men trying to find a suitable husband for a rich widow to ensure her fortune is kept within their principality.
Zubaida Yaseen - the widow of Muhammad Yaseen and a resident of Sheikhupura - stated that according to the benevolent fund rules, the widows of those government servants who die after retirement are granted financial aid out of the benevolent fund.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WIDOWS - A sit-down lunch was held in the magnificent surroundings of the Guildhall in the presence of the then Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress to mark the 20th anniversary of the Coventry branch of the Association of Widows.
Among the signatories were Caroline Doughty of the Way Foundation, Joyce Howe of the National Association of Widows and author Kate Boydell, founder of the Merry Widow forum.
Finding herself a widow, she decided to continue her studies and enrolled in the Faculty of Law, Sana'a University.
Undaunted, she scoured the region for traces of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the Widow Cliquot.
5) The double meanings of those theatrical categories which suggest both revelation and concealment ("perform," "act," "show") are invoked in relation to feminine knowability, a question which the play asks on both linguistic and structural levels through the figure of the widow.
Today was the beginning of some measure of justice,'' said March's widow, Teri.
To help Afghani widows rise above poverty, two American women from Massachusetts who were 9/11 widows, Susan Retick and Patti Quigley, created their own charity--which got its start when the women donated much of the money they had received in compensation for their husbands' deaths.
The widow does not, although she must know a little something.
In a June 7 letter to officials at the veterans department, Americans United requested that Stewart's widow be permitted to place the pentacle on her husband's marker and that the department extend that same right to other Wiccan families.
The 15-year-old daughter of the Widow has a mind of her own.