Definition of dowry
1 archaic, law : dower 1
2 law : the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage cultures in which marriage rarely occurs without dowry or bride-price
3 : a gift of money or property by a man to or for his bride
4 : a natural talent
Recent Examples of dowry from the Web
The dowry comes in many forms, including money, but some choose cattle.
The mayor is diverting public funds for a cathedral while proffering a large dowry to marry his 11-year-old daughter to a baron’s contemptible son.
The idea goes back to the time when dowries were all that women brought to the table.
When a girl is married, the family receives dowry — mainly goats, sheep, cows.
A Chinese wedding comes with lots of perks: cash from the guests and often a dowry from the bride’s family and a house from the groom’s.
At one checkpoint, Mr. Aded said, a fighter asked about local dowry customs.
Local police blotters in and around Hyderabad regularly carry gruesome stories: a woman who hanged herself by her sari when a dowry went sour, a husband setting his wife on fire.
When her mother was paralyzed and her father decided to marry again, Zahra, then around 11 years old, became part of the dowry, according to her father’s accounts to reporters.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dowry'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
DOWRY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dowry for English Language Learners
: money or property that a wife or wife's family gives to her husband when the wife and husband marry in some cultures
DOWRY Defined for Kids
Definition of dowry for Students
: property that in some cultures a woman gives to her husband in marriage
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