- a widow possessing property or a title obtained from her husband
- (as modifier): the dowager duchess
- a wealthy or dignified elderly woman
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- a woman who holds some title or property from her deceased husband.
- an elderly woman of stately dignity.
adj. [before a noun]
- relating to or characteristic of a dowager:a dowager princess.
- a woman who holds some title or property from her deceased husband, esp. the widow of a king, duke, etc. (often used as an additional title to differentiate her from the wife of the present king, duke, etc.):a queen dowager; an empress dowager.
- an elderly woman of stately dignity, esp. one of elevated social position:a wealthy dowager.
- noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of a dowager:the dowager duchess; to prefer a dowager style of dress.
- Middle French douag(i)ere, equivalent. to douage dower (see endow, -age) + -iere, feminine of -ier -ier2