widow's weeds

(redirected from widows' weeds)

widow's weeds

The black dress and veil traditionally worn by a widow while mourning the death of her husband. The formidable matriarch remained in her widow's weeds for years after the death of her husband, the late Don Salvatore.
See also: weed

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 classic literature ?
This night it shall be granted you to know their secret deeds: how hoary-bearded elders of the church have whispered wanton words to the young maids of their households; how many a woman, eager for widows' weeds, has given her husband a drink at bedtime and let him sleep his last sleep in her bosom; how beardless youths have made haste to inherit their fathers' wealth; and how fair damsels--blush not, sweet ones--have dug little graves in the garden, and bidden me, the sole guest to an infant's funeral.
He was among an untold number of people who have revolted against the Italian fashion brand that built its reputation on the ability to make Sicilian widows' weeds sexy.
Never had widows' weeds been worn with less sincerity.