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dower n

[Anglo-French, from Old French douaire, modification of Medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dot- dos gift, dowry]
: the life estate in a man's real property to which his wife is entitled upon his death under common law and some state statutes compare curtesy, elective share

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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