One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Islamic law: the gift which the bridegroom must make to the bride when the marriage contract is made and which becomes her property.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in William Francklin (1763–1839), orientalist. From Arabic mahr nuptial gift, cognate with Hebrew mōhar (e.g. Genesis 34:12), Syriac mahrā.
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