Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Money or property brought by a bride to her husband at marriage. Also called dower.
  • n. A sum of money required of a postulant at a convent.
  • n. A natural endowment or gift; a talent.
  • n. Archaic See dower.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Property or payment given by one spouse or his/her family to the other spouse or her/his family at time of marriage. (In some cultures, the dowry is given from wife to husband, in others vice versa.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A gift; endowment.
  • n. The money, goods, or estate, which a woman brings to her husband in marriage; a bride's portion on her marriage. See Note under Dower.
  • n. A gift or presents for the bride, on espousal. See Dower.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The money, goods, or estate which a woman brings to her husband in marriage; the portion given with a wife; dower. See dower and dot.
  • n. Any gift or reward in view of marriage.
  • n. That with which one is endowed; gift; endowment; possession.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage

Etymologies

Middle English douerie, from Anglo-Norman douarie, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, dōārium, dōāria, dower; see dower.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • Holmes used this word when he was talking to Mary about Watson being a bit of a gambler.

    June 9, 2012