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[en-dou] /ɛnˈdaʊ/
verb (used with object)
to provide with a permanent fund or source of income:
to endow a college.
to furnish, as with some talent, faculty, or quality; equip:
Nature has endowed her with great ability.
Obsolete. to provide with a dower.
verb (used without object)
(of a life-insurance policy) to become payable; yield its conditions.
Origin of endow
1350-1400; Middle English endowen < Old French endouer, equivalent to en- en-1 + douer < Latin dōtāre to dower, equivalent to dōt- (stem of dōs) dowry + -āre infinitive suffix
Related forms
endower, noun
reendow, verb (used with object)
superendow, verb (used with object)
unendowed, adjective
unendowing, adjective
well-endowed, adjective
2. invest, clothe, endue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for endow
  • Boosters and donors benefit from generous tax deductions when they buy the best seats or endow an athletic scholarship.
  • Some benefactors endow buildings with fanfare, especially if those buildings will bear their names.
  • Being western or white does not endow one with absolute knowledge.
  • Please please please don't endow the species with intelligence, its only the few that are intelligent the rest morons.
  • Its unique features endow the device with great flexibility and power.
  • WE endow our presidents with mythical power, holding them responsible for the health of the economy.
  • In other words, how they endow an industrial space with the human element of a home.
  • Character actors endow the make-believe of movies with personality.
  • More commonly, philanthropic donations are used to pay for a new building or endow a chair.
  • Donors and external agencies stipulate the terms of the gifts they endow.
British Dictionary definitions for endow


verb (transitive)
to provide with or bequeath a source of permanent income
(usually foll by with) to provide (with qualities, characteristics, etc)
(obsolete) to provide with a dower
Derived Forms
endower, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French endouer, from en-1 + douer, from Latin dōtāre, from dōs dowry
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 endow

late 14c., indowen "provide an income for," from Anglo-French endover, from en- "in" + Old French douer "endow," from Latin dotare "bestow" (see dowry). Related: Endowed; endowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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