verb \ ə-ˈvau̇ \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of avow

avowed; avowing; avows
1 : to declare assuredly
  • She avowed her innocence.
2 : to declare openly, bluntly, and without shame
  • ever ready to avow his reactionary outlook


play \-ˈvau̇(-ə)r\ noun

Examples of avow in a Sentence

  1. avowed that the colonization of Mars in our lifetime is not only possible but probable

  2. avowed their undying love for each other

Recent Examples of avow from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of avow

Middle English, from Anglo-French avuer, avouer, from Latin advocare to summon

Synonym Discussion of avow

acknowledge, admit, own, avow, confess mean to disclose against one's will or inclination. acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed.
    • acknowledged an earlier peccadillo
admit implies reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications.
    • admitted the project was over budget
own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself.
    • must own I know little about computers
avow implies boldly declaring, often in the face of hostility, what one might be expected to be silent about.
    • avowed that he was a revolutionary
confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt.
    • confessed a weakness for sweets
assert, declare, affirm, protest, avow mean to state positively usually in anticipation of denial or objection. assert implies stating confidently without need for proof or regard for evidence.
    • asserted that modern music is just noise
declare stresses open or public statement.
    • declared her support for the candidate
affirm implies conviction based on evidence, experience, or faith.
    • affirmed the existence of an afterlife
protest emphasizes affirming in the face of denial or doubt.
    • protested that he really had been misquoted
avow stresses frank declaration and acknowledgment of personal responsibility for what is declared.
    • avowed that all investors would be repaid in full

AVOW Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of avow for English Language Learners

  • : to declare or state (something) in an open and public way

AVOW Defined for Kids


verb \ ə-ˈvau̇ \

Definition of avow for Students

avowed; avowing
: to declare openly and frankly
  • I was surprised at the coolness with which John avowed his knowledge of the island …
  • —Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

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