noun de·vo·tion \ di-ˈvō-shən , dē- \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of devotion

1 a : religious fervor : piety
b : an act of prayer or private worship usually used in plural
  • during his morning devotions
c : a religious exercise or practice other than the regular corporate (see corporate 2) worship of a congregation
2 a : the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity : the act of devoting
  • the devotion of a great deal of time and energy
b : the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal
  • her devotion to the cause
  • filial devotion
3 obsolete : the object of one's devotion

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Examples of devotion in a Sentence

  1. She has cared for the poor with selfless devotion.

  2. The devotion they felt for each other was obvious.

  3. The project will require the devotion of a great deal of time and money.

  4. They spend an hour each morning at their devotions.

Recent Examples of devotion from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devotion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

devotion Has Latin Roots

When we take a vow, we pledge our devotion—whether to remain true to a partner, to uphold the law, or to honor the word of God. It should be no surprise then that devotion and its related verb devote come from the act of taking a vow. Both words originate from Latin devotus, which is the past participle of devovēre, a union of the prefix de- ("from") and the verb vovēre ("to vow"). Devote was once used as an adjective that could mean either "devout" or "devoted." While devout often connotes faithfulness of a religious nature, the adjective devoted conveys the sense of one's commitment to another through love and loyalty ("a devoted husband and father"; "the singer's devoted fans").

Origin and Etymology of devotion

see devote

Synonym Discussion of devotion

fidelity, allegiance, fealty, loyalty, devotion, piety mean faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty. fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty.
    • marital fidelity
allegiance suggests an adherence like that of citizens to their country.
    • pledging allegiance
fealty implies a fidelity acknowledged by the individual and as compelling as a sworn vow.
    • fealty to the truth
loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray.
    • valued the loyalty of his friends
devotion stresses zeal and service amounting to self-dedication.
    • a painter's devotion to her art
piety stresses fidelity to obligations regarded as natural and fundamental.
    • filial piety

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

DEVOTION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of devotion for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling of strong love or loyalty : the quality of being devoted

  • : the use of time, money, energy, etc., for a particular purpose

  • devotions : prayer, worship, or other religious activities that are done in private rather than in a religious service

DEVOTION Defined for Kids


noun de·vo·tion \ di-ˈvō-shən \

Definition of devotion for Students

1 : deep love or loyalty
2 : an act of giving (as effort or time) to something
  • His devotion of many hours of work was rewarded.
3 : a religious exercise or practice (as prayers) especially that is private

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having an air of easy unconcern

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