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dower

[dou-er] /ˈdaʊ ər/
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 of dower
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English dowere < Old French do(u)aire < Medieval Latin dōtārium. See dot2, -ary
Related forms
dowerless, adjective
undowered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dowerless
Historical Examples
  • His father's objection to Miss Baker was solely because of her dowerless condition.

  • You are doing all you can to oppose me, and you have determined to marry the dowerless daughter of a poor soldier.

    In The Palace Of The King F. Marion Crawford
  • Tremenhere had married Minnie dowerless; but what a rich fortune she laid before him in the proofs of his mother's fame!

    Miles Tremenhere, Vol 2 of 2 Annette Marie Maillard
  • The story in question is the famous one of the young man St. Nicholas and his gifts to the dowerless maidens.

    St. Nicholas George H. McKnight
  • They took it for granted that he wished to marry her, dowerless as she was, and they kept out of his way.

    Corleone F. Marion Crawford
  • There, aided by nuns, she cared for and educated two hundred and fifty pupils, dowerless daughters of impoverished nobles.

    Women of Modern France (Illustrated) Hugo Paul Thieme (1870-1940)
  • If not, did the mother know that nothing would tempt Howard Jerrold into an alliance with a dowerless daughter?

    From the Ranks Charles King
  • Dolokhov was a suitable and in some respects a brilliant match for the dowerless, orphan girl.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • Perhaps, too, he might expect murmurs at his choice of a dowerless princess from his vassals of the Tirol.

    Two Penniless Princesses Charlotte M. Yonge
  • She is dowerless and friendless, except her young brother and an old grandfather, who maybe sleeps in his grave by this time.

    The Settlers William H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for dowerless

dower

/ˈdaʊə/
noun
1.
the life interest in a part of her husband's estate allotted to a widow by law
2.
an archaic word for dowry (sense 1)
3.
a natural gift or talent
verb
4.
(transitive) to endow
Derived Forms
dowerless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French douaire, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, from Latin dōs gift
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dowerless

dower

n.

late 13c., from Old French doaire "dower, dowry, gift" (see dowry).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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