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adj. dow·di·er, dow·di·est
1. Lacking stylishness or neatness; shabby: a dowdy gray outfit.
2. Old-fashioned; antiquated.
n. pl. dow·dies
A dowdy person; a frump.

[From Middle English doude, immoral, unattractive, or shabbily dressed woman.]

dow′di·ly adv.
dow′di·ness n.
dow′dy·ish adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
"Confess, William, do not the mere good looks of Zoraide Reuter appear dowdyish and commonplace compared with the splendid charms of some of her pupils?"
Jake can only think to himself, "Jake the Yankee, with this bonnet-less, wigged, dowdyish little greenhorn by his side i That she was his wife, nay, that he was a married man at all, seemed incredible to him" (36).