a woman divorced or otherwise separated from her husband
a woman whose husband is often away for short periods of time
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
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Wortherkunft von 'grass widow'Early ModE, discarded mistress (similar to Du grasweduwe, Ger strohwittwe): prob. allusion is to bed of grass or straw as opposed to the conjugal bed