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.
His wife brought in dower Cilicia's crown.Dryden.
(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.
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.
Assignment of dower. See under Assignment.
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Sun 16th December 2018