verb \ə-ˈvau̇\

Definition of avow

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to declare assuredly She avowed her innocence.

  3. 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

Origin and Etymology of avow

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

First Known Use: 13th century

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


verb \ə-ˈvau̇\

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




  1. :  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

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


acid in temper, mood, or tone

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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!