dower [dou-er] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. Law. the portion of a deceased husband’s real property allowed to his widow for her lifetime.
  2. dowry(def 1).
  3. a natural gift or endowment.

verb (used with object)

  1. to provide with a dower or dowry.
  2. 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 Examples from the Web for dowerless Historical Examples of dowerless

  • You are doing all you can to oppose me, and you have determined to marry the dowerless daughter of a poor soldier.

    In The Palace Of The King

    F. Marion Crawford

  • His father’s objection to Miss Baker was solely because of her dowerless condition.

    Charles Lever, His Life in His Letters, Vol. I (of II)

    Edmund Downey

  • The Florentine nobleman who is disposed to marry a dowerless American is yet to be heard from.

    A Transient Guest

    Edgar Saltus

  • The story in question is the famous one of the young man St. Nicholas and his gifts to the dowerless maidens.

    St. Nicholas

    George H. McKnight

  • My father was the younger son of one of our oldest earls; my mother the dowerless daughter of a Scotch peer.

    Pelham, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • British Dictionary definitions for dowerless dower noun

    1. the life interest in a part of her husband’s estate allotted to a widow by law
    2. an archaic word for dowry (def. 1)
    3. a natural gift or talent


    1. (tr) to endow

    Derived Formsdowerless, adjectiveWord Origin for dower C14: from Old French douaire, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, from Latin dōs gift Word Origin and History for dowerless dower n.

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

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