Definition of WIDOW

WIDOW Noun and Verb

Widow is primarily used as a noun referring to a woman whose spouse has died and who has not remarried. It can also be used as a verb, although less commonly, meaning to make someone a widow or widower.

WIDOW as a noun

As a noun, widow denotes a woman who has lost her husband by death and has not remarried. For example, “She became a widow at a young age,” indicates her marital status following the death of her spouse.

Historical and Cultural Context: The status of a widow has varied significantly across different cultures and historical periods. In some societies, widows have been subject to various customs and expectations, often involving periods of mourning and specific social roles. For example, “In some cultures, widows are expected to wear black for a certain period,” reflects traditional practices associated with widowhood.

Economic and Social Challenges: Being a widow can bring about economic and social challenges, especially in cultures where the husband was the primary breadwinner. Widows might face financial hardships or social isolation. For example, “Many widows face financial difficulties after losing their spouses,” highlights the common issues encountered by widows.

Support Systems for Widows: Various organizations and communities provide support for widows, helping them navigate the challenges of their new status. This support can include financial assistance, counseling, and social networks. For example, “The charity offers support groups and resources for widows,” demonstrates efforts to aid widows in their adjustment.

WIDOW as a verb

As a verb, widow means to cause someone to become a widow or widower. This usage is much less common but can be found in more formal or literary contexts. For example, “The war widowed many women,” indicates that the conflict caused many women to lose their husbands.

Legal and Inheritance Issues: Widows often deal with legal and inheritance matters following the death of their spouses. These issues can involve navigating wills, estates, and property rights. For example, “She had to consult a lawyer to settle her husband’s estate after she was widowed,” shows the legal complexities that can arise.

Modern Perspectives: In contemporary society, the experience of being a widow is changing, with more resources and support available. Widows today might find various ways to rebuild their lives, pursue careers, and find new social connections. For example, “Modern widows often seek to reinvent their lives and pursue new opportunities,” reflects the evolving dynamics of widowhood.

In conclusion, widow is primarily a noun describing a woman whose spouse has died and who has not remarried. It encompasses significant historical, cultural, economic, and social dimensions. As a verb, it means to cause someone to become a widow, though this usage is less common. The experiences and challenges of widows continue to be relevant, with modern support systems and changing societal attitudes helping to shape their lives.

Examples of WIDOW in a sentence

WIDOW as a noun in a sentence

  • The widow inherited her late husband’s estate.
  • After her husband’s death, she became a young widow.
  • The community rallied around the widow to offer support during her time of mourning.
  • As a widow, she faced the challenge of raising her children alone.
  • The widow wore black as a symbol of her mourning.
  • She found solace in a support group for widows.
  • The widow struggled with loneliness after her spouse’s passing.
  • Despite her grief, the widow remained resilient and carried on with her life.

WIDOW as a verb in a sentence

  • The sudden loss of her husband forced her to widow herself earlier than expected.
  • She had to widow herself from the life she once knew and rebuild anew.
  • The process of grieving allowed her to widow herself from the pain of the past.
  • She couldn’t bring herself to widow his memory and move forward.
  • Over time, she learned to widow her heartache and embrace the possibilities of the future.
  • The widowhood support group helped her navigate the journey of widowing herself.
  • She gradually widowed herself from the expectations of others and followed her own path.
  • Through counseling, she learned healthy ways to widow her grief and find inner peace.

Origin of WIDOW

The term widow has its etymological roots in Old English and English, offering insights into its linguistic origins.

  • Semantic Context: A widow is a woman whose spouse has died and who has not remarried.
  • Old English Influence: The term “widow” originates from Old English, where it was spelled as “widewe.” In Old English, it referred to a woman who had lost her husband through death.
  • English Formation: “Widow” was formed in English, retaining its original meaning of a woman who has been bereaved of her husband.
  • Cultural Connotations: Widow carries cultural connotations of loss, mourning, and resilience, as well as legal and social implications related to inheritance, property rights, and societal expectations.
  • Usage in Context: “Widow” is commonly used in personal, legal, and social contexts to describe a woman who has been widowed, as well as in discussions surrounding widowhood, grief, and support services for bereaved individuals.

The term widow reflects its origins in Old English and its continuation into modern English, highlighting its significance in describing the status of a woman who has lost her husband and the cultural and societal contexts surrounding widowhood.


  • Bereaved spouse
  • Widowed person
  • Surviving partner
  • Lonely spouse
  • Grieving partner
  • Left-behind spouse
  • Sole survivor
  • Unwedded partner


  • Married person
  • Partnered individual
  • Spousal
  • Married couple
  • Attached person
  • Coupled individual
  • Unwidowed person
  • Mate


  • Widowhood
  • Grief
  • Loss
  • Mourning
  • Funeral
  • Bereavement
  • Solitude
  • Singlehood

🌐 🇬🇧 WIDOW in other languages

Terms of Use

Privacy & Cookies


Who We Are

Main Sections


Geographical Locations



Let´s Talk



® 2024 https://DefinitionGo.com