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1. A woman who lives apart from her spouse for long periods 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, separated, or estranged from or abandoned by her spouse. If you never get married, you'll never have to worry about becoming a grass widow.
3. A mistress who is abandoned by her lover. The town referred to Judy as a grass widow after the man she was seeing decided to return to his wife.
4. An unmarried mother. When they discovered that Maria had had her son out of wedlock, they cruelly called her a grass widow.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price