[ dou-er ]
/ ˈdaʊ ər /


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.

Nearby words

  1. dowding,
  2. dowdy,
  3. dowel,
  4. doweling,
  5. dowell,
  6. dower chest,
  7. dower house,
  8. dowery,
  9. dowf,
  10. dowie

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

Examples from the Web for dower

British Dictionary definitions for dower


/ (ˈdaʊə) /


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