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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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
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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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Example sentences for dower
If the husband consents she does not have to pay back the dower.
At this point the husband must pay the wife the delayed component of the dower.
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