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
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.
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Origin and Etymology of dowry
Middle English dowarie, from Anglo-French, alteration of dower, douaire — more at dower
First Known Use: 14th century
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
Seen and Heard
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