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4 definitions found
 for dower
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Dower \Dow"er\, n. [F. douaire, LL. dotarium, from L. dotare to
     endow, portion, fr. dos dower; akin to Gr. ? gift, and to L.
     dare to give. See 1st Date, and cf. Dot dowry,
     Dotation.]
     1. That with which one is gifted or endowed; endowment; gift.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              How great, how plentiful, how rich a dower! --Sir J.
                                                    Davies.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Man in his primeval dower arrayed.    --Wordsworth.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. The property with which a woman is endowed; especially:
        (a) That which a woman brings to a husband in marriage;
            dowry. [Obs.]
            [1913 Webster]
  
                  His wife brought in dower Cilicia's crown.
                                                    --Dryden.
        (b) (Law) That portion of the real estate of a man which
            his widow enjoys during her life, or to which a woman
            is entitled after the death of her husband.
            --Blackstone.
            [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: Dower, in modern use, is and should be distinguished
           from dowry. The former is a provision for a widow on
           her husband's death; the latter is a bride's portion on
           her marriage. --Abbott.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     Assignment of dower. See under Assignment.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  dower
      n 1: money or property brought by a woman to her husband at
           marriage [syn: dowry, dowery, dower, portion]
      2: a life estate to which a wife is entitled on the death of her
         husband
      v 1: furnish with an endowment; "When she got married, she got
           dowered" [syn: endow, dower]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  58 Moby Thesaurus words for "dower":
     ability, accouter, appanage, appoint, bless with, bump, caliber,
     capability, capacity, dot, dowry, endow, endow with, endowment,
     endue, equip, equipment, faculty, favor with, flair, forte,
     foundation, furnish, genius, gift, grace with, instinct, invest,
     investment, jointure, legal jointure, long suit, makings,
     marriage portion, metier, natural endowment, natural gift, outfit,
     parts, portion, potential, power, powers, qualification, settle on,
     settle upon, settlement, speciality, strong flair, strong point,
     talent, talents, the goods, the stuff, thirds, vest, vest with,
     what it takes
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  DOWER. An estate for life, which the law gives the widow in the third part 
  of the lands and tenements, or hereditaments of which the husband, was 
  solely seised, at any time during the coverture, of an estate in fee or in 
  tail, in possession, and to which estate in the lands and tenements, the 
  issue, if any, of such widow might, by possibility, have inherited. Watk. 
  Prin. Con. 38; Litt. Sec. 36; 7 Greenl. 383. Vide Estate in Dower. This is 
  dower at common law. 
       2. Besides this, in England there are three other species of dower now 
  subsisting; namely, dower by custom, which is, where a widow becomes 
  entitled to a certain portion of her husband's lands in consequence of some 
  local or particular custom, thus by the custom of gavelkind, the widow is 
  entitled to a moiety of all the lands and tenements, which her husband held 
  by that tenure. 
       3. Dower ad ostium ecclesiae, is, when a man comes to the church door 
  to be married, after troth plighted, endows his wife of a certain portion of 
  his lands. 
       4. Dower ex assensu patris, was only a species of dower ad ostium 
  ecclesice, made when the husband's father was alive, and the son, with his 
  consent expressly given, endowed his wife, at the church door, of a certain 
  part of his father's lands. 
       5. There was another kind, de la plus belle, to which the abolition of 
  military tenures has put an end. Vide Cruise's Dig. t. 6, c. 1; 2 Bl. Com. 
  129; 15 Serg. & Rawle, 72 Poth. Du Douaire. 
       6. Dower is barred in various ways; 1. By the adultery of the wife, 
  unless it has been condoned. 2. By a jointure settled upon the wife. 2 
  Paige, R. 511. 3. By the wife joining her husband in a conveyance of the 
  estate. 4. By the husband and wife levying a fine, or suffering a common 
  recovery. 10 Co. 49, b Plowd. 504. 5. By a divorce a vinculo matrimonii. 6. 
  By an acceptance, by the wife, of a collateral satisfaction, consisting of 
  land, money, or other chattel interest, given instead of it by the husband's 
  will, and accepted after the husband's death. In these cases she has a right 
  to elect whether to take her dower or the bequest or devise. 4 Monr. R. 265; 
  5 Monr. R. 58; 4 Desaus. R. 146; 2 M'Cord, Ch. R. 280; 7 Cranch, R. 370; 5 
  Call, R. 481; 1 Edw. R. 435 3 Russ. R. 192; 2 Dana, R. 342. 
       7. In some of the United States, the estate which the wife takes in the 
  lands of her deceased husband, varies essentially from the right of dower at 
  common law. In some of the states, she takes one-third of the profits, or in 
  case of there being no children, one half. In others she takes the same 
  right in fee, when there are no lineal descendants; and in one she takes 
  two-thirds in fee, when there are no lineal ascendants or descendants, or 
  brother or sister of the whole or half blood. 1 Hill. Ab. 57, 8; see Bouv. 
  Inst. Index, h.t. 
  
  

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