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90s Slang You Should Know


[dou-ree] /ˈdaʊ ri/
noun, plural dowries.
Also, dower. the money, goods, or estate that a wife brings to her husband at marriage.
Archaic. a widow's dower.
a natural gift, endowment, talent, etc.
Also, dowery.
Origin of dowry
1250-1300; Middle English dowerie < Anglo-French douarie < Medieval Latin dōtārium. See dot2, -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dowry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the following day, the presentation of the dowry (sireduththal) takes place.

  • In cases of separation the dowry had, in most cases, to be returned to the wife's parents.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • I will give her as dowry the 500,000 francs which I refused the other day to you.

    The Queen's Necklace Alexandre Dumas pre
  • I swear it beyond the power of retracting, and also that her dowry shall be royal!

    The Bravo of Venice Heinrich Zschokke
  • His mother then would doubtless find him a suitable wife with a dowry.

    Septimus William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for dowry


noun (pl) -ries
the money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
(esp formerly) a gift made by a man to his bride or her parents
(Christianity) a sum of money required on entering certain orders of nuns
a natural talent or gift
(obsolete) a widow's dower
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French douarie, from Medieval Latin dōtārium; see dower
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
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Word Origin and History for dowry

early 14c., from Anglo-French dowarie, Old French doaire (late 13c.) "dower, dowry, gift," from Medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dotare "to endow, portion," from dos (genitive dotis) "marriage portion," from PIE *do-ti (cf. Sanskrit dadati, Greek didonai, Old Church Slavonic dati, Lithuanian duoti, Armenian tam, all meaning "to give"), from root *do- "to give." Related to Latin donum "a giving, gift;" dare "to give" (see date (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dowry in Culture

dowry definition

Money, property, or material goods that a bride's family gives to the bridegroom or his family at the time of the wedding. In many cultures, the dowry not only helps to cement the relationship between the bride's and groom's families but also serves to reinforce traditional family roles and gender roles.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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