Origin of dowdyfrom Middle English doude, an unattractive woman + -y
- a dowdy woman
- Lacking stylishness or neatness; shabby: a dowdy gray outfit.
- Old-fashioned; antiquated.
Origin of dowdyFrom Middle English doude immoral, unattractive, or shabbily dressed woman
(comparative dowdier, superlative dowdiest)
Late 16th century. Origin uncertain: probably literally “little poorly dressed woman,” formed from doue “poorly dressed woman.”