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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 ‎(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 terms[edit]



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 also[edit]


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