- Law. the portion of a deceased husband's real property allowed to his widow for her lifetime.
- dowry(def 1).
- a natural gift or endowment.
Origin of dower
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dowerless
You are doing all you can to oppose me, and you have determined to marry the dowerless daughter of a poor soldier.In The Palace Of The King
F. Marion Crawford
His father's objection to Miss Baker was solely because of her dowerless condition.
The Florentine nobleman who is disposed to marry a dowerless American is yet to be heard from.A Transient Guest
The story in question is the famous one of the young man St. Nicholas and his gifts to the dowerless maidens.St. Nicholas
George H. McKnight
My father was the younger son of one of our oldest earls; my mother the dowerless daughter of a Scotch peer.Pelham, Complete
- the life interest in a part of her husband's estate allotted to a widow by law
- an archaic word for dowry (def. 1)
- a natural gift or talent
- (tr) to endow
C14: from Old French douaire, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, from Latin dōs gift
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for dowerless
late 13c., from Old French doaire "dower, dowry, gift" (see dowry).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper