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 Stinson’s devotion to Auburn hasn’t stopped other colleges from recruiting him. Ben Thomas |, al, "Opelika 2022 DB commit Jarell Stinson ‘still locked in’ with Auburn," 22 Feb. 2021 Fifth, Bitcoin’s community is borderline religious in their devotion, which makes Bitcoin resilient. Alex Tapscott, Fortune, "Bitcoin offers freedom from political repression—and that’s a key to its future," 18 Feb. 2021 In honor of his years of hard work and devotion to McDonogh, the school renamed the former Woods Road on its campus to Bob Lamborn Road. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, "Robert L. ‘Bob’ Lamborn, who was headmaster of McDonogh School for two decades and ended its military program, dies," 18 Feb. 2021 For her, this devotion takes two forms: practice in her hot shop (the studio where all of the glass blowing magic happens) and studying glass blowing masters on YouTube. Megan Embrey, House Beautiful, "In The Hotshop With Cheryl Saban, Glassmaker Extraordinaire," 16 Feb. 2021 Newsom is an unabashed idolizer of Robert F. Kennedy; his political career has resembled a long exercise in recreating that special Kennedy mix of aristocratic bearing and apparent devotion to the needs and hopes of regular people. James Pogue, The New Republic, "Gavin Newsom Is Blowing It," 3 Feb. 2021 His humour, good grace and devotion to public service will be greatly missed by everyone here at the @MoFA_ZW. Eoin Mcsweeney, CNN, "Zimbabwe's foreign minister dies after contracting Covid-19," 20 Jan. 2021 Collins couches Katherine's interest in her devotion to enabling women to protect themselves. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: November romances bring mischief, star-crossed lovers, and hot dukes," 4 Dec. 2020 Or maybe this family really was uncomplicated in its mutual devotion. New York Times, "‘Selena: The Series,’ Dreaming of Her," 4 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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Statistics for devotion

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for devotion



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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