de·​vo·​tion di-ˈvō-shən How to pronounce devotion (audio)
: religious fervor : piety
: an act of prayer or private worship
usually used in plural
during his morning devotions
: a religious exercise or practice other than the regular corporate (see corporate sense 2) worship of a congregation
: 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
: the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal
her devotion to the cause
filial devotion
obsolete : the object of one's devotion

Did you know?

Devotion Has Latin Roots

Devotion and the verb devote come from the act of taking a vow (the Latin verb vovēre means "to vow"). Devote was once used as an adjective that could mean either "devout" or "devoted." While devout implies faithfulness of a religious nature ("a devout parishioner), devoted refers to one's commitment to another through love and loyalty ("a singer's devoted fans").

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web That Darling continues to inspire such fervent devotion isn’t surprising. Mayukh Sen, The Atlantic, 9 Apr. 2024 Stella Dallas is a great character piece for Stanwyck, who earned her first Academy Award nomination by nailing Stella's brassy, comedic side and her grand, tear-jerking devotion to her daughter's happiness. Danny Horn,, 9 Apr. 2024 Read the full Sagittarius Daily Horoscope Capricorn (December 21 - January 19) Demonstrating devotion? USA TODAY, 5 Apr. 2024 Walsh had a fierce devotion to detail and a photographic memory that gave him the ability to sit through hours of court hearings taking notes only sparingly, then reproduce lengthy — and accurate — quotes for his stories. Sam Stanton, Sacramento Bee, 2 Apr. 2024 The film’s title comes from the story of Hanuman, the Hindu deity who takes the form of a monkey and symbolizes strength and courage, as well as wisdom, loyalty and devotion. Andrew Torgan, CNN, 31 Mar. 2024 The Stations of the Cross — a 14-step devotion often performed by Catholics during Lent and especially on Good Friday — commemorate the events of the holy day, according to Jason Rossi, The Enquirer, 29 Mar. 2024 Muhammad was presented with the NeighborWorks America’s 2023 Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership honoree for her devotion and commitment to preserving Tubman’s legacy. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 27 Mar. 2024 Much like Jesse Jackson or Andrew Young’s lifelong devotion to the civil rights movement, Gossett had been present for many of the iconic moments of Black theater, film and television over the last half-century. Steve Marble, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


see devote

First Known Use

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

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


Dictionary Entries Near devotion

Cite this Entry

“Devotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​vo·​tion di-ˈvō-shən How to pronounce devotion (audio)
: strong religious feeling
: a religious exercise or practice other than the regular worship of a congregation
: the act of devoting or the quality of being devoted
: strong love, affection, or dedication

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