dower

[dou-er]
noun
1.
Law. the portion of a deceased husband's real property allowed to his widow for her lifetime.
2.
dowry ( def 1 ).
3.
a natural gift or endowment.
verb (used with object)
4.
to provide with a dower or dowry.
5.
to give as a dower or dowry.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English dowere < Old French do(u)aire < Medieval Latin dōtārium. See dot2, -ary

dowerless, adjective
undowered, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dower (ˈdaʊə)
 
n
1.  the life interest in a part of her husband's estate allotted to a widow by law
2.  an archaic word for dowry
3.  a natural gift or talent
 
vb
4.  (tr) to endow
 
[C14: from Old French douaire, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, from Latin dōs gift]
 
'dowerless
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dower
1292, from O.Fr. douaire (see dowry).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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