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dower

[dou-er]
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noun
  1. Law. the portion of a deceased husband's real property allowed to his widow for her lifetime.
  2. dowry(def 1).
  3. a natural gift or endowment.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to provide with a dower or dowry.
  2. to give as a dower or dowry.
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Origin of dower

1250–1300; Middle English dowere < Old French do(u)aire < Medieval Latin dōtārium. See dot2, -ary
Related formsdow·er·less, adjectiveun·dow·ered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dower

dower

noun
  1. the life interest in a part of her husband's estate allotted to a widow by law
  2. an archaic word for dowry (def. 1)
  3. a natural gift or talent
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verb
  1. (tr) to endow
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Derived Formsdowerless, adjective

Word Origin

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 dower

n.

late 13c., from Old French doaire "dower, dowry, gift" (see dowry).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper