de·​vote di-ˈvōt How to pronounce devote (audio)
devoted; devoting

transitive verb

: to commit by a solemn act
devoted herself to serving God
: to give over or direct (time, money, effort, etc.) to a cause, enterprise, or activity
Part of the lecture was devoted to taking questions from the audience.
She devoted her life to public service.
devotement noun
Choose the Right Synonym for devote

devote, dedicate, consecrate, hallow mean to set apart for a special and often higher end.

devote is likely to imply compelling motives and often attachment to an objective.

devoted his evenings to study

dedicate implies solemn and exclusive devotion to a sacred or serious use or purpose.

dedicated her life to medical research

consecrate stresses investment with a solemn or sacred quality.

consecrate a church to the worship of God

hallow, often differing little from dedicate or consecrate, may distinctively imply an attribution of intrinsic sanctity.

battlegrounds hallowed by the blood of patriots

Examples of devote in a Sentence

I conscientiously devote several hours every weekend to playing with my dog. planning a diplomatic career, she's been intensely devoting herself to the study of foreign languages in college
Recent Examples on the Web Some personal injury law firms have devoted entire pages on their websites to Swimply claims. Shannon Sollitt, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Sep. 2023 Back on the homefront, Zora lapses into blathering self-absorption and even Billie, the nurse, comments on her need to devote more quality time to her daughter. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Sep. 2023 The unexpected arrival of the pandemic, though challenging in many ways, offered him an opportunity to devote substantial time to his writing endeavors, resulting in the creation of his new book. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2023 People stirred up by Wolf’s tweets would start yelling at Klein, wondering what had scrambled her political commitments, how the author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, who had devoted her career to studying the excesses of corporate power, could have come to this. Laura Marsh, The New Republic, 5 Sep. 2023 Gene editors typically devote years to the study of one or two genes, governing one or two diseases. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, 2 Sep. 2023 The Soviet Union embraced Russia’s imperial past and was extremely active in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, especially when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev came to power in the mid-1950s and devoted himself to new varieties of Soviet internationalism. Michael Kimmage and Hanna Notte, Foreign Affairs, 1 Sep. 2023 Soon after, Raylan returns to Miami, announces his retirement, and devotes himself to spending time with his daughter. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 30 Aug. 2023 Rather than devoting himself to Jesus and his cause though, Clarence sees another way: Becoming a messiah himself. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 29 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Latin devotus, past participle of devovēre, from de- + vovēre to vow

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of devote was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near devote

Cite this Entry

“Devote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​vote di-ˈvōt How to pronounce devote (audio)
devoted; devoting
: to set apart for a special purpose
devote land to farming
: to give (oneself) up to
devoted herself to her career

More from Merriam-Webster on devote

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