vouchsafe

verb vouch·safe \ vau̇ch-ˈsāf , ˈvau̇ch-ˌsāf \

Definition of vouchsafe

vouchsafed; vouchsafing
transitive verb
1 a :to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending manner
b :to give by way of reply
  • refused to vouchsafe an explanation
2 :to grant as a privilege or special favor

vouchsafement

play \vau̇ch-ˈsāf-mənt\ noun

vouchsafe was our Word of the Day on 07/03/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of vouchsafe in a Sentence

  1. 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

Synonym Discussion of vouchsafe

grant, concede, vouchsafe, accord, award mean to give as a favor or a right. grant implies giving to a claimant or petitioner something that could be withheld.
    • granted them a new hearing
concede implies yielding something reluctantly in response to a rightful or compelling claim.
    • even her critics concede she can be charming
vouchsafe implies granting something as a courtesy or an act of gracious condescension.
    • vouchsafed the secret to only a few chosen disciples
accord implies giving to another what is due or proper.
    • accorded all the honors befitting a head of state
award implies giving what is deserved or merited usually after a careful weighing of pertinent factors.
    • awarded the company a huge defense contract

VOUCHSAFE Defined for English Language Learners

vouchsafe

verb

Definition of vouchsafe for English Language Learners

  • : to give (something) to someone as a promise or a privilege


VOUCHSAFE Defined for Kids

vouchsafe

verb vouch·safe \ vau̇ch-ˈsāf \

Definition of vouchsafe for Students

vouchsafed; vouchsafing
: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


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