Webster's Writer's Dictionary


Dow"er [F. douaire, LL. dotarium, from L. dotare to endow, portion, fr. dos dower; akin to Gr. 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.

Note: 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.