dower

noun
dow·​er | \ ˈdau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce dower (audio) \

Definition of dower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the part of or interest in the real estate of a deceased spouse given by law to the surviving spouse during the surviving spouse's life — compare curtesy

dower

verb
dowered; dowering; dowers

Definition of dower (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to supply with a dower or dowry : endow

Examples of dower in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Many of his own slaves have married the dower slaves, and those marriages will be broken up. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "George Washington Made History by Deciding to Leave the Presidency. But That Didn't Mean He Left Politics," 13 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dower.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dower

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dower

Noun

Middle English dowere, from Anglo-French dower, douaire, from Medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dot-, dos gift, marriage portion — more at date

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Time Traveler for dower

Time Traveler

The first known use of dower was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Dower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dower. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dower

dower

noun
dow·​er | \ ˈdau̇-ər How to pronounce dower (audio) \

Legal Definition of dower

: the life estate in a man's real property to which his wife is entitled upon his death under common law and some state statutes — compare curtesy, elective share

History and Etymology for dower

Anglo-French, from Old French douaire, modification of Medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dot-, dos gift, dowry

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More from Merriam-Webster on dower

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dower

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dower

Britannica English: Translation of dower for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dower

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