Definition of dower in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdou(ə)r/


1A widow’s share for life of her husband’s estate.
Example sentences
  • But I do not agree that the guardian of these minors may purchase, in his own name and for his personal benefit, the dower interest of the widow in the lands to which his wards hold the fee.
  • Moreover, she held the dower portion of her husband's lands, primarily made up of Maelienydd and Comot Deuddwr in Wales.
  • The widow has dower right in her late husband's property, even if she remarries - although the children are not to lose their inheritance as a result of her remarriage.
1.1 archaic A dowry.
Example sentences
  • He would not provide dowers for his three daughters - Henrietta, Mary, and Kate.
  • The Pendant discusses the love between the two with Baptista, and they agree on a dower and a marriage.
  • Lear, childlike in his petulance, denies Cordelia her dower.


[with object] archaic
Give a dowry to.
Example sentences
  • The barber charged me enough to dower two of his daughters.
  • Extra daughters were sent off to live in respectable refinement at convents, so that the family would not have to dower them as lavishly and divide the family patrimony.
  • But, as my father eagerly points out, he has a large estate for sons and plenty of money to dower daughters with.


Late Middle English: from Old French douaire, from medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dotare 'endow', from dos, dot- 'dowry'; related to dare 'give'.

Words that rhyme with dower

bower, cower, devour, embower, empower, endower, flour, flower, gaur, Glendower, glower, hour, lour, lower, our, plougher (US plower), power, scour, shower, sour, Stour, sweet-and-sour, tower

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dow·er

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