Law. the portion of a deceased husband's real property allowed to his widow for her lifetime.
a natural gift or endowment.

verb (used with object)

to provide with a dower or dowry.
to give as a dower or dowry.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dower

endowment, skill, talent, gift, dowry, endue, grant, give, award, bestow, present

Examples from the Web for dower

Contemporary Examples of dower

Historical Examples of dower

British Dictionary definitions for dower



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
Derived Formsdowerless, adjective

Word Origin for dower

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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper