\ ə-ˈvau̇ How to pronounce avow (audio) \
avowed; avowing; avows

Definition of avow

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from avow

avower \ -​ˈvau̇(-​ə)r How to pronounce avower (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of avow in a Sentence

avowed that the colonization of Mars in our lifetime is not only possible but probable avowed their undying love for each other

Recent Examples on the Web

The state of the Casey/Barletta race prior to Casey’s avowed opposition to any Trump nominee strongly favored Casey. John Baer, Philly.com, "Casey's opposition to Trump SCOTUS pick raises questions about Casey's abortion stance | John Baer," 10 July 2018 Many also avow that even with the North Waziristan sweep, militants were given an early heads-up to move over into Afghanistan. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Trump's wrath forces Pakistan to double down on push to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries," 10 July 2018 Those of us who have tied ourselves to President Trump and who have avowed to support his policies are winning. Fox News, "Rep. Cuellar on battle over separating families at border," 19 June 2018 Adherents to the politics of adulation have been in close combat with those who avow the politics of condemnation. Robyn Dixon, latimes.com, "South African liberation fighter Winnie Madikizela-Mandela laid to rest with songs, tears and cheers," 14 Apr. 2018 Despite his reputation for mathematical precision and formal rigor, the French master was avowing the primacy of sonic beauty. Stuart Isacoff, WSJ, "Composing Organized Delirium," 29 Sep. 2017 Merkel herself avows that the events of 2015 cannot be repeated. Isaac Stanley-becker, Washington Post, "The refugee crisis once threatened to sink Angela Merkel’s career. How did the German chancellor weather the storm?," 21 Sep. 2017 The group openly avows the idealism that drew them to Obama’s first presidential campaign, along with a commitment to rational discourse in the face of partisan incivility. Ben Austen, New Republic, "Ravi Gupta is recruiting a fresh slate on candidates to take down Trump. But can a former Obama staffer forge a new path for Democrats?," 7 Sep. 2017 The video premiered during a ceremony hosted by pop star and avowed Swift nemesis Katy Perry. Los Angeles Times Staff, latimes.com, "A Star Is Born: Shania Twain turns 52 today," 28 Aug. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of avow

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for avow

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about avow

Dictionary Entries near avow








Statistics for avow

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for avow

The first known use of avow was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for avow



English Language Learners Definition of avow

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


\ ə-ˈvau̇ How to pronounce avow (audio) \
avowed; avowing

Kids Definition of avow

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on avow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avow

Spanish Central: Translation of avow

Nglish: Translation of avow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on avow

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!