Definition of vouchsafe
1a : to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending mannerb : to give by way of reply refused to vouchsafe an explanation
2 : to grant as a privilege or special favor
vouchsafementplay \vau̇ch-ˈsāf-mənt\ noun
vouchsafe was our Word of the Day on 07/03/2013. Hear the podcast!
Examples of vouchsafe in a Sentence
He vouchsafed the secret to only a few chosen disciples.
Did You Know?
Shakespeare fans are well acquainted with "vouchsafe." The word, which was borrowed with its present meaning from Anglo-French in the 14th century, pops up fairly frequently in the Bard's work-60 times, to be exact. "Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love," beseeches Proteus of Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. "Vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food," King Lear begs his daughter Regan. But you needn't turn to Shakespeare to find "vouchsafe."
Origin and Etymology of vouchsafe
Middle English vouchen sauf to grant, consent, deign, from Anglo-French voucher salf
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of vouchsafe
VOUCHSAFE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vouchsafe for English Language Learners
: to give (something) to someone as a promise or a privilege
VOUCHSAFE Defined for Kids
Definition of vouchsafe for Students
: to give or grant as a special favor … I riffled the pages of my book, hoping to be vouchsafed a map. — Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up vouchsafe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).