devotion

noun
de·​vo·​tion | \ di-ˈvō-shən, 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

Following Seng’s devotion to Lao cuisine is her son Chef Bobby Pradachith, who was eager to embrace his heritage as a child of sticky rice. Jc Gibbs, Smithsonian, "Meet The Devotees of the Growing Lao Food Movement in a New Video from Folklife," 31 May 2018 In addition to representing Victoria and Albert’s devotion to one another, the mausoleums appear to have been built for practical reasons. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Reception Venue Is Also a Graveyard," 18 May 2018 Black leather Versace motorcycle jackets sport jeweled crucifixes inspired by Byzantine mosaics, blending edgy coolness with churchly devotion. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ Show Is Worth the Pilgrimage," 10 May 2018 Despite her success, Sister Wendy never strayed from her life of religious devotion. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Sister Wendy Beckett, the Nun Who Made Art History Into Must-Watch TV, Has Died," 27 Dec. 2018 And in a heartening choral number, a traditional Hebrew prayer for peace entwines with a Christian psalm and acts of Muslim devotion. Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, "‘Come From Away’ at 5th Avenue Theatre is openhearted and exhilarating," 16 Oct. 2018 Starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, the movie revolves around the very mysterious Emily (Lively), her unlikely friendship with Stephanie (Kendrick), and, going by the trailer, Emily's deep devotion to drinking martinis and looking stylish. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Blake Lively's 'A Simple Favor' Premiere Manicure Had a Hidden Message," 11 Sep. 2018 Physical affection, for example, was far more demonstrative between female friends than it is today (in America, at least), as were passionate and open declarations of devotion. Sara Petersen, Vox, "Why do we stop giving meaningful gifts to our friends?," 3 Dec. 2018 In the Rastafarian faith, long locs are meant to mirror the mane of their leader — the lion — as physical proof of their devotion. Allure, "Women From Three Faith Communities Share How Their Long Hair and Spirituality Are Connected," 17 May 2018

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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Statistics for devotion

Last Updated

23 Jan 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

devotions : 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 \

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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