\ 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

Other Words from avow

avower \ ə-​ˈvau̇(-​ə)r How to pronounce avow (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 Supporters include many people who passionately avow the medical and recreational benefits. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 June 2021 But Scotland and Northern Ireland do not need to avow republicanism to vote for democratic self-determination. Matt Seaton, The New York Review of Books, 9 Mar. 2021 That explains Mr Johnson’s decision to avow the existence of the NCF, which has been quietly hacking away since the spring. The Economist, 1 Dec. 2020 The coffee giant had been quick to avow its commitment to Black Lives Matter as protests erupted over Floyd’s death, and committed $1 million to racial equity organizations. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, 19 Aug. 2020 While avowing eternal solidarity with Holocaust survivors and the Jewish people, Abbas mentioned neither Israel’s role in expelling his people nor its failure to guarantee that such a mass expulsion event can never recur. Omri Boehm, The New York Review of Books, 9 June 2020 Prosecutors, who have been criticized in recent weeks for their long inaction despite Mr. Matzneff’s avowed pedophilia, are moving on a separate track that could lead to more criminal charges. Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2020 After the event, Chris Berry — a retired telephone company technician — says without prompting that the topic that stood out most for him was Steyer’s avowed support for slavery reparations. Manuel Roig-franzia, Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2020 Prosecutors, who have been criticized in recent weeks for their long inaction despite Matzneff’s avowed pedophilia, are moving on a separate track that could lead to more criminal charges. Norimitsu Onishi, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Avow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avow. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for avow


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on avow

Nglish: Translation of avow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of avow for Arabic Speakers


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