devotion

noun
de·​vo·​tion | \ di-ˈvō-shən How to pronounce devotion (audio) , dē-\

Definition of devotion

1a : 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 sense 2) worship of a congregation
2a : 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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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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").

Examples of devotion in a Sentence

She has cared for the poor with selfless devotion. The devotion they felt for each other was obvious. The project will require the devotion of a great deal of time and money. They spend an hour each morning at their devotions.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His devotion to the house is meditative, representing not just his own childhood memories but a sense of belonging that goes back generations. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Last Black Man in San Francisco Shows a City in Flux," 6 June 2019 The family would like to give special thanks to her caregivers, Janet Barnes and Rhina Zelaya, as well as Wendy Nicholas, whose devotion and companionship were invaluable. courant.com, "Ann Cohen," 4 June 2019 Taking their parental devotion to new heights, Chrissy and John got matching tattoos with Luna and Miles' names on them. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen and Daughter Luna Dance Adorably to John Legend Singing Live," 17 Apr. 2019 European Catholicism and fashion enjoy a particularly close bond, especially in their mutual devotion to art and beauty (and most of the designers in this show were raised in the Church, even if no longer practicing). Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ Show Is Worth the Pilgrimage," 10 May 2018 After three decades of devotion, my mom stopped attending church earlier this year. Sarah Scoles, Longreads, "Meet the New Mormons," 8 June 2018 Everything is so sophisticated now; content is rarely the product of unadulterated devotion, and instead comes laced with an agenda or excessive amounts of irony and self-awareness. Lindsey Lanquist, SELF, "Do Yourself a Favor and Follow My Best Friend’s Mom on Instagram," 25 May 2018 The sincerity of Urgain's devotion, easy to understand, balances well with the more novel flavor of Padma's mission. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Becoming Who I Was': Film Review," 2 Mar. 2018 Shop at La Galeria Elefante Designer Victoria Durrer Gasse’s devotion to Ibiza and reverence for travel have manifested in a ten-room concept shop, La Galeria Elefante, housed in a traditional farmhouse near Santa Gertrudis. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "For Authentic Ibiza, Visit in the Winter," 15 Feb. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of devotion

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for devotion

see devote

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Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for devotion

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

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More Definitions for devotion

devotion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of devotion

: a feeling of strong love or loyalty : the quality of being devoted
: the use of time, money, energy, etc., for a particular purpose
: prayer, worship, or other religious activities that are done in private rather than in a religious service

devotion

noun
de·​vo·​tion | \ di-ˈvō-shən How to pronounce devotion (audio) \

Kids Definition of devotion

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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