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From Middle English dowerie, from Anglo-Norman dowarie, douarie, from Old French douaire, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, from Latin dōs.



dowry (countable and uncountable, plural dowries)

  1. Payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride's family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage.[1]
  2. (less common) Payment by the groom or his family to the bride's family: bride price.
    • 2009, Peter Uvin, Life after Violence: A People's Story of Burundi, page 125:
      The family of the groom makes sure the new couple has a house to live in and land to cultivate; they will also pay for the dowry (crucial, for without dowry the new father has no rights over his children; Trouwborst 1962: 136ff.)
  3. (obsolete) Dower.
  4. A natural gift or talent.



Related termsEdit



dowry (third-person singular simple present dowries, present participle dowrying, simple past and past participle dowried)

  1. To bestow a dowry upon.
    • 1999, Judith Everard, Michael C. E. Jones, Charters Duchess Constance Br, Page xvi
    • 2013 Noreen Giffney, Margrit Shildrick, Theory on the Edge: Irish Studies and the Politics of Sexual Difference, Page 62
    • 1911, Aida Rodman De Milt, Ways and Days Out of London, page 108:
      1976, Graham Anderson, Studies in Lucian's Comic Fiction, Page 19

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gary Ferraro & Susan Andreatta, Cultural Anthropology, 8th edn. (Belmont, Cal: Wadsworth, 2010), 223.