hal·​low ˈha-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce hallow (audio)
hallowed; hallowing; hallows

transitive verb

: to make holy or set apart for holy use
: to respect greatly : venerate
the most hallowed of all law-enforcement agenciesDwight MacDonald
Choose the Right Synonym for hallow

devote, dedicate, consecrate, hallow mean to set apart for a special and often higher end.

devote is likely to imply compelling motives and often attachment to an objective.

devoted his evenings to study

dedicate implies solemn and exclusive devotion to a sacred or serious use or purpose.

dedicated her life to medical research

consecrate stresses investment with a solemn or sacred quality.

consecrate a church to the worship of God

hallow, often differing little from dedicate or consecrate, may distinctively imply an attribution of intrinsic sanctity.

battlegrounds hallowed by the blood of patriots

Examples of hallow in a Sentence

Lincoln's memorable words at the Gettysburg battlefield, “we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground”.
Recent Examples on the Web Which hallowed halls of top-tier higher education should their children consider? Heather Wilhelm, National Review, 17 May 2024 For some people associated with the British Museum, the recent tumult made the larger questions of purpose that hallowed museums are facing only more pressing. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 6 May 2024 The iconic number is retired and hallowed in every big-league ballpark. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 16 Apr. 2024 Real boxing matches are televised or streamed just about every Saturday night, and so watching some fictional ones, no matter how hallowed, was never a top priority. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2023 But with players from a 20-year veteran like James all the way down to rookie Max Christie making plays to help the Lakers win, those words weren’t hallow Friday. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 16 Dec. 2022 Frenchman Street’s hallowed jazz halls, including Snug Harbor, are empty. Andrew J. Yawn, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2020 The art of the civilizing myth, the pleasing illusion, which once did something to hallow the institution, has given way to a dress-down cult of the merely functional, a culture of drabness. Michael Knox Beran, National Review, 6 Feb. 2020 Legend has it that proposals for a mid-engined Corvette date back to Zora Arkus-Duntov, the car’s hallowed first chief engineer. Mark Phelan, Freep.com, 29 Dec. 2019

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

Word History


Middle English halowen, from Old English hālgian, from hālig holy — more at holy

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hallow was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hallow

Cite this Entry

“Hallow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hallow. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


hal·​low ˈhal-ō How to pronounce hallow (audio)
: to make holy or set apart for holy use : consecrate
: to respect greatly : venerate
 in the Lord's Prayer also  ˈhal-ə-wəd

More from Merriam-Webster on hallow

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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