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early 14c., from Anglo-French dowarie, Old French doaire (late 13c.) "dower, dowry, gift," from Medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dotare "to endow, portion," from dos (genitive dotis) "marriage portion," from PIE *do-ti (cf. Sanskrit dadati, Greek didonai, Old Church Slavonic dati, Lithuanian duoti, Armenian tam, all meaning "to give"), from root *do- "to give." Related to Latin donum "a giving, gift;" dare "to give" (see date (n.1)).
Money, property, or material goods that a bride's family gives to the bridegroom or his family at the time of the wedding. In many cultures, the dowry not only helps to cement the relationship between the bride's and groom's families but also serves to reinforce traditional family roles and gender roles.
(mohar; i.e., price paid for a wife, Gen. 34:12; Ex. 22:17; 1 Sam. 18:25), a nuptial present; some gift, as a sum of money, which the bridegroom offers to the father of his bride as a satisfaction before he can receive her. Jacob had no dowry to give for his wife, but he gave his services (Gen. 29:18; 30:20; 34:12).