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 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 The new carols were actually modern versions of the old: the voices of people of the time dancing, celebrating or reflecting, sometimes stridently or clumsily, but with raw devotion. The Economist, "In the bleak midwinter Obituary: Stephen Cleobury died on November 22nd," 18 Dec. 2019 The mass internment is framed by Beijing as a war on extremism, but it has been widely denounced as an attempt to stamp out Uighur culture and Islam and replace it with devotion to President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Japanese manga about a Uighur woman’s persecution in China becomes viral hit," 14 Dec. 2019 Back on the east coast, a bear with a devotion to good vistas was spotted taking in the scenery of the White Mountains on the veranda of the Omni Mount Washington Resort. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "It's Wild Out There! All the Surprising Places Wild Bears Have Popped Up This Year," 22 Oct. 2019 Romijn dominates most of the bloodiest, chaotic scenes, as Danica reigns over her demented followers with a fierce devotion to the exemplar of evil. Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Satanic Panic': Film Review," 6 Sep. 2019 Pro football began in Ohio, with some teams sponsored by the mills and plants that gave the Rust Belt its name, and is still followed with a devotion just shy of religion. Sean Gregory/cleveland, Time, "“It's Time.” The Cleveland Browns Are Ready to Start Winning," 22 Aug. 2019 And even with its devotion to star power, the festival programmers carve out just enough room for some of the world’s most distinctive stylists behind the camera. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "Venice Film Festival preview: Can ‘Joker,’ Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson and ‘Birth of a Nation’'s Nate Parker continue the festival’s hot streak?," 22 Aug. 2019 Every Friday, the praise band performs with devotion by peers for ages 6-12. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "SUNDAY CONVERSATION: PTO president wanted to find best fit for her daughters," 18 Aug. 2019 Healey’s Caesar was a charming despot, an intriguing interpretation that explained why a noble dude like Mark Antony would show such devotion to a dictator. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Power pairs, such as ‘Rastus and Hattie’ and ‘Tiny Houses,’ were the talk of the stage this season: Year in Review 2019," 28 Dec. 2019

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

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Devotion.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/devotion?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=devoti01. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for devotion

devotion

noun
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

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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