What is Endowment?

Legal Definition
The bestowing or assuring of a dower to a woman. It is sometimes used: metaphorically, for the setting a provision for a charitable institution, as the endowment of a hospital.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
1. The assignment of dower; the setting off a woman's dower. 2 Bl. Comm. 135.

2. In appropriations of churches, (in English law,) the setting off a sufficient maintenance for the vicar in perpetuity. 1 Bl. Comm. 387.

3. The act of settling a fund, or permanent pecuniary provision, for the maintenance of a public institution, charity, college, etc.

4. A fund settled upon a public Institution, etc., for its maintenance or use. The words "endowment" and "fund," in a statute exempting from taxation the real estate, the furniture and personal property, and the "endowment or fund" of religious and educational corporations, are ejusdem generis, and intended to comprehend a class of property different from the other two, not real estate or chattels. The difference bstween the words is that "fund" is a general term, including the endowment, while "endowment" means that particular fund, or part of the fund, of the institution, bestowed for its more permanent uses, and usually kept sacred for the pur-poses intended. Tbs word "endowment" does not, in such an enactment, include reni estate. See First Reformed Dutch Church v. Lyon, 32 N. J. Law, 360; Appeal of Wagner Institute, 116 Pa. 555, 11 Atl. 402; Floyd v. Rankin, 86 Cal. 159, 24 Pac. 936; Liggett v. Ladd, 17 Or. 89, 21 Pac. 133. See Endowment policy.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Assignment of dower; settling property or money upon an institution to provide for its support. See 116 Pa. 555, 11 Atl. 402.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary