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

Her devotion to women was genuine when the brand was founded in 1999 — and now, with her daughters Ming, 19, and Aoki, 16, on board for the relaunch, that commitment will only deepen. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "The Best Baby Phat Fashion Moments of All Time, Ahead of the Relaunch," 13 Mar. 2019 Harry Styles fans weaponized Tumblr accounts and VPNs to promote his first solo single and album in 2017, but BTS fans took the blueprint further, creating tests for wannabe helpers to verify their devotion. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Stop calling Facebook’s effort to fix itself an “arms race”," 14 Sep. 2018 In Regina George fashion, she's introduced by legions of admirers from North Shore High—including the original Aaron Samuels, Jonathan Bennett—talking about their devotion to the pop star. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Every Single Movie Reference in Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Music Video," 30 Nov. 2018 In conversation, Davis, 36, is reverent about her devotion to the church, but entirely irreverent about herself. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "Catch rising gospel star Isabel Davis at Jazz Fest 2018," 2 May 2018 This new season is something very different, though it's wedded to the original by a similar devotion to lush presentation and the stories of struggling young people. Julie Muncy, Ars Technica, "Life Is Strange 2, episode 1 review: New setting, same heart," 28 Sep. 2018 Still, Douglas, a former competitive mogul skier himself, finds my devotion to mogul skis bizarre. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Is Everyone Skiing on the Wrong Skis?," 21 Feb. 2019 Bach, so named for her devotion to the classical music constantly playing in her earbuds, is an assassin. Nicolle Wallace, New York Times, "Bill Clinton and James Patterson Have Written a Thriller. It’s Good.," 5 June 2018 Weathers, with outstanding devotion to duty manned his battery in the face of grave danger from an enemy suicide bomber, which ultimately crashed into his station and wounded him. James Rogers, Fox News, "Stern of US WW II destroyer discovered near remote Alaskan island: Survivor recounts harrowing day," 16 Aug. 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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Last Updated

17 Apr 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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