Dow"er (?), n. [F. douaire, LL. dotarium, from L. dotare to endow, portion, fr. dos dower; akin to Gr. gift, and to L. dare to give. See 1st Date, and cf. Dot dowry, Dotation.]

1.

That with which one is gifted or endowed; endowment; gift.

How great, how plentiful, how rich a dower! Sir J. Davies.

Man in his primeval dower arrayed. Wordsworth.

2.

The property with which a woman is endowed

; especially: (a)

That which a woman brings to a husband in marriage; dowry.

[Obs.]

His wife brought in dower Cilicia's crown. Dryden.

(b) Law

That portion of the real estate of a man which his widow enjoys during her life, or to which a woman is entitled after the death of her husband

.

Blackstone.

Dower, in modern use, is and should be distinguished from dowry. The former is a provision for a widow on her husband's death; the latter is a bride's portion on her marriage. Abbott.

Assignment of dower. See under Assignment.

 

© Webster 1913.

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