vow

noun
\ ˈvau̇ How to pronounce vow (audio) \

Definition of vow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a solemn promise or assertion specifically : one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition
vowed; vowing; vows

Definition of vow (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to promise solemnly : swear
2 : to bind or consecrate by a vow

intransitive verb

: to make a vow
vowed; vowing; vows

Definition of vow (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from vow

Verb (1)

vower \ ˈvau̇(-​ə)r How to pronounce vower (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for vow

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of vow in a Sentence

Noun The monks take a vow of silence. The bride and groom exchanged vows. The mayor made a vow to reduce crime.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pompeo's call for a crackdown on Chinese tech firms follows Trump's vow to ban TikTok from the U.S. Fortune, "The U.S. has long decried China’s ‘Great Firewall’—now it’s building its own," 6 Aug. 2020 The nuns took vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty — and, some say, an unofficial vow of humility. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Coronavirus devastates a Livonia convent, but even in death, nuns inspire helping others," 3 Aug. 2020 My vow is to make my husband as comfortable as humanly possible. Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker, "Hospice/Honeymoon," 30 July 2020 El Moussa ends his post with a vow to uphold Floyd's memory. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Tarek El Moussa Calls for All Officers Who Witnessed George Floyd's Murder to Be Held Accountable," 2 June 2020 Shriver’s friend and law partner David Birenbaum edited the manuscript, in which Shriver tells of his efforts to fulfill Johnson’s vow in 1964 to end poverty. Washington Post, "Posthumous memoir by Sargent Shriver scheduled for January," 7 July 2020 Even so, DeRozan and other Spurs vow to do their part to follow the rules and make the bubble as safe as possible. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "For Spurs, staying healthy requires teamwork," 6 July 2020 His announcement received some A-list support like a vow of approval from billionaire Elon Musk. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Kanye West declares he’s running for president," 5 July 2020 Last year, top corporate leaders signed onto the Business Roundtable’s vow to serve all of society, not just stockholders. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "For CEOs, Pressure Is On to Pivot From ‘Say’ to ‘Do’ on Inequality," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today is #BlackOutDay2020 when many Black Americans vow to not spend any money in order to showcase their economic power. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "The buyouts are here," 7 July 2020 Many school districts plan to start the year providing virtual learning only and phase in a return to school while others vow to reopen fully, with health precautions in place. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: What schools might look like in the fall," 3 July 2020 Many district officials plan to start the year providing virtual learning only and phase in a return to school while others vow to reopen fully, with health precautions in place. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "How will Bay Area classrooms work in the fall? Teachers imagine the future of school," 2 July 2020 However, Leakes did vow to spill the tea before anyone else. Taiia Smart Young, Essence, "Bravo Denies Nene Leakes Was Fired From ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’," 18 June 2020 Community land trusts, for instance, let low-income families buy homes on land owned by non-profits, which vow to use the land for the good of the community. Alana Semuels, Time, "Segregation Has Gotten Worse, Not Better, and It's Fueling the Wealth Gap Between Black and White Americans," 19 June 2020 The posts vow to pillage through suburbs threatening to rape and murder residents. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Disinformation posts about violent takeover of white suburbs flood social media in several states," 5 June 2020 Tara vowed her future would include building a coaster somewhere near her native state of Tennessee and some years later, that dream has become a reality. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "North Carolina's First Alpine Coaster Opens in Banner Elk," 11 June 2020 The Walt Disney Company, which has full operational control of Hulu, vowed a total of $5 million in donations to social-justice organizations with the first $2 million going to the NAACP. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Hulu shifts Love, Victor, Taste the Nation premieres away from Juneteenth," 10 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today is #BlackOutDay2020 when many Black Americans vow to not spend any money in order to showcase their economic power. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "The buyouts are here," 7 July 2020 Many school districts plan to start the year providing virtual learning only and phase in a return to school while others vow to reopen fully, with health precautions in place. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: What schools might look like in the fall," 3 July 2020 Community land trusts, for instance, let low-income families buy homes on land owned by non-profits, which vow to use the land for the good of the community. Alana Semuels, Time, "Segregation Has Gotten Worse, Not Better, and It's Fueling the Wealth Gap Between Black and White Americans," 19 June 2020 However, Leakes did vow to spill the tea before anyone else. Taiia Smart Young, Essence, "Bravo Denies Nene Leakes Was Fired From ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’," 18 June 2020 The posts vow to pillage through suburbs threatening to rape and murder residents. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Disinformation posts about violent takeover of white suburbs flood social media in several states," 5 June 2020 Kilpatrick has denied acting illegally and vowed to stay on the job, promising to bring more development to Detroit. Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, "More text messages revealed, Mayor's pal got inside scoop," 30 May 2020 King was killed in cold blood in ‘68, and Bobby Kennedy later that year, and riots followed, and white politicians vowed that looting leads to shooting, just like the current president did Friday. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, "This is on us, White America," 29 May 2020 Furious, Trump immediately cried censorship—though his tweets were not censored—and vowed revenge in the form of an executive order demanding a policy review of the Communications Decency Act. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "The Most Mendacious President in U.S. History," 29 May 2020

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vow

Noun

Middle English vowe, from Anglo-French vou, from Latin votum, from neuter of votus, past participle of vovēre to vow; akin to Greek euchesthai to pray, vow, Sanskrit vāghat sacrificer

Verb (2)

Middle English, short for avowen

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Time Traveler for vow

Time Traveler

The first known use of vow was in the 13th century

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Statistics for vow

Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vow. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for vow

vow

noun
How to pronounce vow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vow

: a serious promise to do something or to behave in a certain way

vow

noun
\ ˈvau̇ How to pronounce vow (audio) \

Kids Definition of vow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a solemn promise or statement

vow

verb
vowed; vowing

Kids Definition of vow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a solemn promise : swear He vowed to follow all the rules.

vow

noun

Legal Definition of vow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a solemn promise or statement especially : one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition

Legal Definition of vow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to promise solemnly
2 : to bind or commit by a vow

intransitive verb

: to make a vow

Other Words from vow

vower noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on vow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vow

Spanish Central: Translation of vow

Nglish: Translation of vow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vow for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vow

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