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verb, vouch·safe \vau̇ch-ˈsāf, ˈvau̇ch-ˌ\

Simple Definition of vouchsafe

  • : to give (something) to someone as a promise or a privilege

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of vouchsafe


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending manner b :  to give by way of reply <refused to vouchsafe an explanation>

  3. 2 :  to grant as a privilege or special favor

vouchsafement play \vau̇ch-ˈsāf-mənt\ noun

Examples of vouchsafe in a sentence

  1. He vouchsafed the secret to only a few chosen disciples.

Did You Know?

Shakespeare fans are well acquainted with "vouchsafe." The word, which was borrowed with its present meaning from Anglo-French in the 14th century, pops up fairly frequently in the Bard's work-60 times, to be exact. "Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love," beseeches Proteus of Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. "Vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food," King Lear begs his daughter Regan. But you needn't turn to Shakespeare to find "vouchsafe."

Origin of vouchsafe

Middle English vouchen sauf to grant, consent, deign, from Anglo-French voucher salf

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of vouchsafe

grant, concede, vouchsafe, accord, award mean to give as a favor or a right. grant implies giving to a claimant or petitioner something that could be withheld <granted them a new hearing>. concede implies yielding something reluctantly in response to a rightful or compelling claim <even her critics concede she can be charming>. vouchsafe implies granting something as a courtesy or an act of gracious condescension <vouchsafed the secret to only a few chosen disciples>. accord implies giving to another what is due or proper <accorded all the honors befitting a head of state>. award implies giving what is deserved or merited usually after a careful weighing of pertinent factors <awarded the company a huge defense contract>.

Rhymes with vouchsafe

VOUCHSAFE Defined for Kids


verb vouch·safe \vau̇ch-ˈsāf\

Definition of vouchsafe for Students


  1. :  to give or grant as a special favor <… I riffled the pages of my book, hoping to be vouchsafed a map. — Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted>

Learn More about vouchsafe

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up vouchsafe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to dishevel or rumple

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