vow

noun
\ˈvau̇ \

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

vow

verb (1)
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

vow

verb (2)
vowed; vowing; vows

Definition of vow (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from vow

Verb (1)

vower \ˈvau̇(-​ə)r \ noun

Synonyms for vow

Synonyms: Noun

oath, pledge, promise, troth, word

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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

But Bolsonaro’s campaign has been defined by his vow to put Brazil first. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Decoding Bolsonaro’s “make Brazil great” foreign policy," 31 Oct. 2018 Following in her aunt Princes Diana’s footsteps, Eugenie promised in her vows to love, comfort, honor, and keep her husband, but not obey him. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, "All the Ways Princess Eugenie's Wedding Broke Royal Tradition," 12 Oct. 2018 My recent actions and words were not borne of kindness, but a failure of my vow to serve the Lord and those entrusted to my care as a person and as priest. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Priest Who Called Cops on Black Funeral-Goers Placed on Leave," 4 July 2018 My recent actions and words were not borne of kindness, but a failure of my vow to serve the Lord and those entrusted to my care as a person and as priest. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "D.C.-area Catholic priest placed on leave after throwing mourners out of a Maryland funeral," 3 July 2018 Parents Kristen and Peter Ruiz and Edward Miller and Carolyn Marzke proudly looked on as their children said their vows to each other and began their journey as a married couple. Chris Folks, Laurel Leader, "Fifth graders move on in elementary school celebration [West Laurel]," 28 June 2018 Sister Rita Clare Yoches, formerly Anne Yoches, will make her final vows to Jesus Christ on June 30 in Toronto, Ohio. Detroit Free Press, "Ex-Detroit Demolition player was a punishing blocker. Now she's a nun," 14 June 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex releasing three touching and stunning photos following their vows. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "BBC claims Royal Wedding made 'bowl food' a new trend and everyone is confused," 22 May 2018 Curry delivered the address shortly before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle -- now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex -- said their vows. Jim Boulden, CNN, "Black bishop delivers passion and soul in powerful royal wedding sermon," 19 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Europe, fearing Iran will also pull out of the nuclear accord and rev up its program again, has sought to protect its companies from the U.S. sanctions and vowed to keep trade and financial lifelines open. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "U.S. Ramps Up Sanctions on Hezbollah as Part of Iran Pressure," 13 Nov. 2018 The coffee giant also recently committed to going strawless, vowing to quit all single-use plastic straws globally by 2020 (though that plan isn't without potential flaws). Rebecca Dancer, Teen Vogue, "Starbucks Gives Away Reusable Red Holiday Cups on November 2," 2 Nov. 2018 Ali chose life, vowing to serve ISIS, though his service wouldn’t last long. Sophia Jones, Marie Claire, "The Truth About The Wives of ISIS," 4 Oct. 2018 Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer representing plaintiffs in the case, vowed to fight on in an email to Ars Technica. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Uber wins key ruling in its fight against treating drivers as employees," 25 Sep. 2018 Still, there were others vowing blue — granting you a state-of-the-art kitchen — was the only switch that matters. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "The Internet Cannot Agree On The Answer To This Light Switch Question," 27 July 2018 Trump critics saw the inclusion of those two countries as a strategy to weaken legal challenges that centered on the claim that the ban unlawfully targeted a religious group that Trump had vowed to keep out of the country. Laurence Arnold, Bloomberg.com, "Who's Welcome (or Not) in U.S. After Trump Ban Upheld," 27 June 2018 By the time Trump promised to stop the separations in his Wednesday order — still vowing to keep prosecuting every immigrant who crosses the border illegally — officials had already removed more than 2,000 children from their parents. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "'Your heart breaks for them': Despite Trump's order, family-separation protests continue," 24 June 2018 Trump has vowed to continue to isolate Iran through U.S. sanctions that are being re-instated following the U.S. pullout from the nuclear agreement in May. The next round of sanctions will take effect in early November. Fox News, "Iran says it doesn't want war with the US," 28 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Several Democratic members who vowed not to support her for this reason changed their stance immediately after the news. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Pelosi officially has the votes to be the next speaker — if she steps down in 2022," 13 Dec. 2018 Her release sparked days of mass protests and violence by religious hard-liners who vowed to kill her. Munir Ahmed, The Seattle Times, "Pakistan rejects US rebuke on religious freedoms," 11 Dec. 2018 Longer-term, the Koreas have vowed to improve the North's aging railways and roads. NBC News, "North Korea turns to basketball diplomacy ahead of Pompeo visit," 5 July 2018 Her plea was a legal win for the Trump administration, which has vowed to crack down on people in the intelligence community and White House who leak classified information. Jenny Jarvie, latimes.com, "Reality Winner, the ex-NSA contractor accused of leaking secrets, pleads guilty," 27 June 2018 MGM Resorts International, the developer of the Springfield casino, also has vowed to continue fighting MMCT in court. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "East Windsor Casino Wins Crucial Local Zoning Approval," 20 June 2018 The plan comes after Elon Musk vowed to build a giant battery farm to help improve living conditions in the area. Rye Druzin, Houston Chronicle, "Largest solar farm in Texas getting battery system," 19 June 2018 Over in the House, incoming Democratic committee chairmen, led by soon-to-be Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, are vowing an investigation blitz focused on collusion with Russia. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Doubling Down on Mueller," 15 Nov. 2018 Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images As the Senate appears poised to narrowly confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a Saturday vote, congressional Democrats are vowing the fight isn’t over. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "House Democrats are not finished with Brett Kavanaugh," 5 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for vow

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vow

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

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More Definitions for vow

vow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vow

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

vow

noun
\ˈvau̇ \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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