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 pluralduring 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 Reporter Mallory Moench writes about Hofstein — who is retiring soon — and his devotion to the Bay Area’s vulnerable populations. Anna Buchmann,, "Bay Briefing: New coronavirus variant on rise in California, tied to Kaiser ER outbreak," 18 Jan. 2021 Others involved in the Capitol breach proudly wore their devotion to QAnon. Anchorage Daily News, "QAnon reshaped Trump’s party and radicalized believers. The Capitol siege may just be the start.," 13 Jan. 2021 His extraordinary devotion to craft and his sheer tenacity is another theme that shines through. Terry W. Hartle, The Christian Science Monitor, "Remember ‘My Dinner with Andre’? He has more wisdom to bestow.," 18 Dec. 2020 The white supremacists and conspiracy theorists and thugs obeyed, even as their Dear Leader retreated to his White House to watch from a safe distance the fullest expression of their devotion to him., "A sorry spectacle we all knew was coming," 6 Jan. 2021 Jefferson had seen Monacans go in groups to visit the mounds, but the knowledge of their reverence and the ardency of their devotion didn’t satisfy him. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "What Thomas Jefferson Could Never Understand About Jesus," 28 Dec. 2020 Throughout his career Niekro never made any secret of his devotion to the Braves. Bill Madden,, "Phil Niekro, Braves and Yankees pitcher whose knuckleball earned him spot in Hall of Fame, dies at 81," 27 Dec. 2020 LeGrand, who also works as a producer for other musicians, is not afraid to double down on his devotion to pop music. Britt Julious,, "Musician and producer Matt LeGrand is big on Spotify and other streaming spaces, but not so much in his hometown," 24 Dec. 2020 By signing short-year deals, Durant opened up himself to questions both from fans and the organization on his devotion to the franchise. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Kevin Durant’s skill and work ethic with Warriors always deserved more attention," 23 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for devotion

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for devotion


How to pronounce devotion (audio)

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


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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Comments on devotion

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