• WordNet 3.6
    • v dower furnish with an endowment "When she got married, she got dowered"
    • n dower a life estate to which a wife is entitled on the death of her husband
    • n dower money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Dower 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.
    • Dower That which a woman brings to a husband in marriage; dowry.
    • Dower That with which one is gifted or endowed; endowment; gift. "How great, how plentiful, how rich a dower !""Man in his primeval dower arrayed."
    • Dower The property with which a woman is endowed
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n dower See dougher.
    • n dower The property which a woman brings to her husband at marriage; dowry.
    • n dower In law, the portion which the law allows to a widow for her life out of the real property in which her deceased husband held an estate of inheritance. At common law it is one third of such real property held by the husband at any time during the marriage as the common issue of the husband and wife might have inherited, except such property as has been conveyed with the concurrence of the wife. The wife may also bar the right of dower by accepting a jointure. By modifying statutes, in some of the United States, the dower is sometimes a share in fee, and sometimes extends only to property which the husband held at the time of his death. In England, by the Dower Act of 1833, the common-law rights of the wife have been greatly modified, her dower being entirely under the control of the husband. In the earlier periods of the common law several kinds of dower were usual, as dower ad ostium ecclesiæ, which was dower voluntarily pledged by the husband at the porch of the church where the marriage was solemnized; and in this case the share might be less than a third, or (except for a restriction at one time imposed for the protection of the interests of feudal lords) it might be more than a third. This was, sometimes at least, done by the declaration in the marriage service “with all my lands I thee endow,” or the husband might specify a particular manor or other lands. If he had no lands, or chose to mention goods only, the declaration was, as now, “with all my worldly goods I thee endow”, in which case the wife, if she survived him, was entitled to a third of the personal property left by him; and if he left lands, the law, notwithstanding his omission to promise dower in them, gave her what was called reasonable dower, or dower according to custom, viz., the life estate in one third as above described, unless she had accepted a jointure or other provision in lieu of dower.
    • n dower One's portion of natural gifts; personal endowment.
    • dower To furnish with dower; portion; endow.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Dower dow′ėr a jointure, that part of the husband's property which his widow enjoys during her life—sometimes used for Dow′ry
    • ***


  • Edgar Fawcett
    Edgar Fawcett
    “At some glad moment was it nature's choice to dower a scrap of sunset with a voice?”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. douaire—Low L. dotarium—L. dotāre, to endow.


In literature:

The subject is of the simplest: a peasant paying the dower-money of his daughter.
"Diderot and the Encyclopædists" by John Morley
She was fair and well-dowered; and against the King's will, she wedded the Lord de la Zouche, in whose custody she was.
"The Well in the Desert" by Emily Sarah Holt
Mr. Thorn, this is Colonel Edward Dower.
"With No Strings Attached" by Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA David Gordon)
He had barred her dower in the case of his latest purchase of freehold estate, viz.
"A Life of William Shakespeare with portraits and facsimiles" by Sidney Lee
Damned by a dower of beauty, with men at her feet whenever she so ordered, her ambition knew no limit.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8" by Elbert Hubbard
Such a dower had never been miladi's, though she had been pretty in youth.
"A Little Girl in Old Quebec" by Amanda Millie Douglas
Zay is overburdened now," laughing softly, "and Aunt Kate will dower her.
"The Girls at Mount Morris" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
He wouldn't wait for the filling of a dower chest.
"Mary Ware's Promised Land" by Annie Fellows Johnston
To his mother, the furniture and silver, and, in lieu of dower, the sum of two thousand dollars yearly.
"Floyd Grandon's Honor" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
How much of this store of household linens was part of his wife's wedding dower is not stated.
"Quilts" by Marie D. Webster

In poetry:

Love came to the princess
In the high tower.
"I will have none of Love," she said,
"Tears are Love's dower."
"The Princess In The Tower" by Ethel Clifford
Love hid his face from the princess
In the high tower;
And "Would I knew the tears," she said,
"That are Love's dower."
"The Princess In The Tower" by Ethel Clifford
Think not such power a fairy's dower,
Or influence from some star,
It did not spring from anything
Beyond what mortals are.
"Good Habits" by Jared Barhite
O let me spend my little hour
In all the calm that Nature gives—
Profuse in plenitude of dower
Where each mute being lives.
"One Star Alone" by Alexander Anderson
"While he's gone I'll seek to rid me
Of the beauty which I dread,
I will give a precious dower
To him who shall woo and wed."
"The Prince Of Anhalt Dessau" by Nora Pembroke
They little knew that wealth had power
To make the constant rove;
They little knew the weighty dower
Could add one bliss to love.
"Edwin and Eltruda, a Legendary Tale" by Helen Maria Williams

In news:

This six-bedroom house near Canterbury in England was built around 1910 as a dower house for the widow of the owner of the adjacent estate.
Mary Lou Dower , age 81, of Dunmore, passed away Monday, June 18, 2012, at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.
On John Dower The Nation.
Dower of Massapequa, formerly of Mineola, passed away on July 27, 2012.
Sam Dower, a 6-9 center, is another big who is a junior this season.
And John Dower of MIT.
"Atrocities follow war as the jackal follows a wounded beast," John W Dower wrote in his history of the Second World War in the Pacific, War Without Mercy (1986).
Dower's attempt to even the scales between Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima is unsuccessful ("The Innocence of ' Pearl Harbor ,' " Op-Ed, June 3).