grass widow(redirected from grass widows)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
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.
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.
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.
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.