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bride price

Definition of Bride Price

(noun) Money or property given to the family of the bride either by the groom or on his behalf.

Example of Bride Price

Bride Price Pronunciation

Usage Notes

  • Plural: bride prices
  • This is a simplified definition of a vast continuum of societal and cultural practices.
  • A bride price is viewed as compensation to the bride’s family for the loss of her economic value in providing goods and services and a reflection of the grooms ability to provide for the bride and their offspring.
  • Bride prices were famously studied by Bronisław Malinowski (1884–1942).
  • In contrast to bride price, a dowry is the transfer of money or property from a woman’s parents to her husband when she gets married.
  • Variant spellings:
    • bride-price
    • brideprice
  • Also called:
    • bride gift (bride-gift, bridegift)
    • bride token
    • bride wealth (bride-wealth, bridewealth)
    • marriage payment
    • progeny price
    • reverse dowry (reverse-dowry)

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Bride Price

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “bride price.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 21, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/bride-price/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

bride price. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/bride-price/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “bride price.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 21, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/bride-price/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“bride price.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/bride-price/>.