Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: CLOTHES AND FASHION

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: dowd 'dull unattractive person' (14-20 centuries)

dowdy

adjective
     
dow‧dy
1DC a dowdy woman is not attractive, because she wears dull and unfashionable clothes
2DC dowdy things are dull, unattractive, and unfashionable:
a dowdy dress
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