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Dec 13, 2007
This week's theme
Whose what?

This week's words
busman's holiday
friar's lantern
curate's egg
widow's peak
shank's mare

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with Anu Garg

widow's peak

(WID-oz peek) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

noun: A V-shaped hairline at the center top of the forehead.

From the former belief that this feature in a woman was an omen that she'd outlive her husband, as in those days a widow wore a mourning hood with a pointed crest. Also see widow's cruse and widow's walk.

Earlier, this feature in a man was known as a widower's peak, though today widow's peak is a unisex term. It's not known what the superstition said when two people with widow's peak married each other. Examples of people with widow's peaks: John Travolta, Count Dracula.

"Tall, slim, and more Draculesque than ever with his sunken cheeks, widow's peak, and grey sidewings, Jan Garbarek led a virtuosic quartet by example."
Jack Massarik; The Enigma Soars to a Sparky Beat; The Evening Standard (London, UK); Nov 19, 2007.

See more usage examples of widow's peak in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.


Neither great poverty nor great riches will hear reason. -Henry Fielding, author (1707-1754)

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