A widow is a woman whose husband has died. The word widow comes from Sanskrit, meaning lonely or solitary. Widow is one of the only words in English for which the feminine form is the root word and the masculine constructed with a suffix. This is significant because after a husband dies, we continue to associate widows with their husbands. It is quite common to hear a woman referred to as John's widow, but the converse, Mary's widower, sounds awkward.

This entry describes how women experience widowhood in North America in terms of income, relationships, and living alone. It then looks briefly at widowhood in other parts of the world.

Demographic Aspects of Widowhood

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 11,288,000 widows in ...

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