noun (plural dowries)
- An amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage: Elizabeth’s dowry was to be £45,000 in diamondsMore example sentences
- The bride brings a dowry to the marriage usually consisting of household goods and her own clothing.
- Middle-class families needed capital and credit, and marriage had considerable importance in bringing in funds through dowries and marriage settlements, and giving access to credit networks.
- In the past, marriages were arranged and women brought a dowry to the marriage.
Middle English (denoting a widow's life interest in her husband's estate): from Anglo-Norman French dowarie, from medieval Latin dotarium (see dower).