avowed; avowing; avows

transitive verb

: to declare assuredly
She avowed her innocence.
: to declare openly, bluntly, and without shame
ever ready to avow his reactionary outlook
avower 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 Even those of us with zero avowed interest in fashion are prone to feel anxiety, vulnerability and dissatisfaction around our pants. Jonah Weiner, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2024 The destructive consequences of undermining the foundations of capitalism simply do not concern them, many of them being in any case avowed communists. Wanjiru Njoya, Orange County Register, 13 Feb. 2024 This third Palestinian political movement might respond to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s granting senior ministries to avowed racists – one of whom has multiple convictions for terrorism — by holding silent vigils in front of those ministries. David Super, Baltimore Sun, 29 Jan. 2024 After news broke that Marvel movie star and avowed Swiftie Simu Liu will be hosting this year’s show, the Barbie and Shang-Chi star penned a perfectly pithy response to the announcement on X (f.k.a. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2024 Kendall Jenner, Zoë Kravitz, Kristen Stewart, Dakota Johnson, Riley Keogh, and Katie Holmes are all avowed fans. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 7 Dec. 2023 With avowed ‘massive gamer’ Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, the kingdom’s insatiable appetite and bottomless riches are already remaking the global video game industry. Lewis Gordon, The Verge, 1 Dec. 2023 The problem is when his mandates haven’t matched his statements—or his avowed ohana principles. Jane Thier, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2023 Now that the glitter has settled, Variety reported on Monday (Nov. 6) that the nation’s largest newspaper chain has hired 35-year-old avowed Swiftie Bryan West for the coveted gig. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 7 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near avow

Cite this Entry

“Avow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avow. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to declare or acknowledge openly and frankly

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