AskDefine | Define dowdy

Dictionary Definition

dowdy adj
1 lacking in smartness or taste; "a dowdy gray outfit"; "a clean and sunny but completely dowdy room"
2 primly out of date; "nothing so frumpish as last year's gambling game" [syn: frumpy, frumpish]


1 British marshal of the RAF who commanded the British air defense forces that defeated the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain (1882-1970) [syn: Dowding, Hugh Dowding, Baron Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding]
2 deep-dish apple dessert covered with a rich crust [syn: pandowdy] [also: dowdiest, dowdier]

User Contributed Dictionary



Late 16th century. Origin uncertain: probably literally “little poorly dressed woman,” formed from doue “poorly dressed woman.”


  • /ˈdaʊdi/
  • /"daUdi/


  1. Plain and unfashionable in style or dress.
  2. Lacking stylishness or neatness; shabby.

Derived terms

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

archaic, blowsy, bygone, dated, demode, down-at-heel, down-at-the-heels, drab, draggletailed, dull, frayed, frazzled, frowsy, frowzy, frumpish, frumpy, full of holes, holey, in rags, in shreds, in tatters, messy, old hat, old-fashioned, out-of-date, outdated, outmoded, passe, patchy, ragged, raggedy, ratty, scruffy, seedy, shabby, shoddy, slattern, sloppy, slovenly, slut, sordid, stodgy, tacky, tattered, tatty, torn, traipse, unbecoming, unfashionable, unkempt, unseemly, vintage
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