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dower Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
    portion; dowery; dowry.
  2. noun a life estate to which a wife is entitled on the death of her husband
  3. verb furnish with an endowment
    • When she got married, she got dowered

Dow"er noun
F. douaire, LL. dotarium, from L. dotare to endow, portion, fr. dos dower; akin to Gr. gift, and to L. dare to give. See 1st Date, and cf. Dot dowry, Dotation.
  1. That with which one is gifted or endowed; endowment; gift.
    How great, how plentiful, how rich a dower! Sir J. Davies.
    Man in his primeval dower arrayed. Wordsworth.
  2. The property with which a woman is endowed; especially: (a) That which a woman brings to a husband in marriage; dowry. Obs.
    His wife brought in dower Cilicia's crown. Dryden.
    (b) (Law) That portion of the real estate of a man which his widow enjoys during her life, or to which a woman is entitled after the death of her husband. Blackstone. Dower, in modern use, is and should be distinguished from dowry. The former is a provision for a widow on her husband's death; the latter is a bride's portion on her marriage. Abbott.

Webster 1913