de·​vo·​tion·​al | \-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\

Definition of devotional 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characterized by devotion devotional literature



Definition of devotional (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short worship service

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Other Words from devotional


devotionally \-​ē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for devotional

Synonyms: Adjective

religious, sacred, spiritual

Antonyms: Adjective

nonreligious, profane, secular

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Examples of devotional in a Sentence


a religious bookstore with an extensive stock of devotional literature

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But its content—powerful and affecting— is intimate while still being devotional in its portrayal of national service. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "Stations of a Soldier’s Life," 24 Oct. 2018 By turns flinty and tender, devotional and irreverent, haunted and enraptured, Cash’s poems — which date back to the 1940s — proved as multifaceted and emotionally far-reaching as the man himself. Bill Friskics-warren, New York Times, "Johnny Cash’s Poems Get a Second Life as Songs," 3 Apr. 2018 No list that small—from devotional works, portraits and still lifes to genre paintings and landscapes—could fulfill the ambition of that title. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting From the Museums of Madrid’ Review: A Visual Heritage Tour," 3 July 2018 The only remaining religious display is for devotional candles decorated with images of St. Francis, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Jesus. Emily Williams,, "Business booming at dollar store on Catholic church site," 30 June 2018 In Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the devotional music played at sama ceremonies is known as qawwali, made famous by the Pakistani Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the ’80s and ’90s. Maija Liuhto, Longreads, "A Music So Beautiful the Birds Fell from the Trees," 28 June 2018 In Latin America, where popular religiosity remains strong, football borrows from the devotional intensity of its fans. The Economist, "Latin America searches for redemption on the football pitch," 21 June 2018 Videos and photographic works by contemporary artists along with traditional devotional art. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Art listings," 24 May 2018 The idea is to enable students taking elective courses to study the Bible as literature, not as devotional material. Fox News, "Kentucky board of education OKs Bible literacy standards," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Also, the center will host a community devotional at 10:30 a.m. Bea L. Hines, miamiherald, "Black graduates celebrate decades of culture at Howard University | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 Over the years, Johnson has worked as a pro sports chaplain, leading athletes — including the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and L.A. Dodgers — and their families in daily devotionals. Jeff Nelson,, "Destiny's Child Star Michelle Williams Is Engaged: Who Is Her Fiancé Chad Johnson?," 19 Apr. 2018 Former company lawyer David Abney said Rawlings would break out his Bible for private devotionals during jet flights. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "'Bounty hunter' George Rawlings may be the richest Kentuckian you've never heard of," 5 Apr. 2018 Outside job: Director, Office of Neighborhood Enforcement Service, New York Housing Authority Crew role: Travel arranger; in charge of morning-of-game devotional at hotel. Peter King,, "Game 150: The Crew," 5 Dec. 2013 Monson’s most public acts were appearances at church conferences and devotionals as well as dedications of church temples. Brady Mccombs, USA TODAY, "Thomas S. Monson, president of Mormon church, dies at 90," 3 Jan. 2018 Tyler spoke after his father’s coffin rested in front of a Lanham, Md. mosque, draped with a green cloth as a sonorous devotional song sounded at the Friday funeral for Prince George’s County police Cpl. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "With salutes and covered hearts, officer killed helping abuse victim is honored at funeral," 23 Feb. 2018 At 7:30, in the same room inside the Marriott where the Saturday meeting was held, Wayne Mackie begins the weekly devotional, with Steratore, Waggoner, Weatherford and Seeman present. Peter King,, "Game 150: The Test," 6 Dec. 2013 The book was based on morning devotionals Shillady emailed to Clinton during the 2016 campaign. Dan Merica, CNN, "Clinton's pastor bows out of NYC event after book pulled due to plagiarism," 7 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devotional.' 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 devotional


1648, in the meaning defined above


1659, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for devotional

The first known use of devotional was in 1648

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More Definitions for devotional



English Language Learners Definition of devotional

: relating to or used in religious services

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Britannica English: Translation of devotional for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about devotional

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