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

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vow

Verb (1)

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

Synonyms for vow

Synonyms: Noun

oath, pledge, promise, troth, word

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As for the actual exchange of the vows, few details are known, aside from it being held at the Ksar Char Bagh hotel. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Tie the Knot in a Moroccan Wedding," 27 Apr. 2019 Obama, wearing a long-sleeve black gown, helped to officiate the exchanging of vows for Stephanie Rivkin and Joel Sircus. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Michelle Obama Helped Officiate A Wedding in Chicago For A Vey Lucky Couple," 24 Sep. 2018 Unwavering in the face of her wedding vows, Eniko returned to Atlanta with the actor soon after the announcement, accompanying him on the set of his new Night School film (coming out Sept. 28). Melania Hidalgo, PEOPLE.com, "Rebuilding After Scandal: A Look Back at Kevin Hart and Wife Eniko's Nearly 2-Year Marriage," 6 July 2018 The populists ditched some of their most incendiary campaign vows, such as calling for a referendum on whether Italy should abandon the euro or leave the European Union. Bard Wilkinson, CNN, "Italian President summons Carlo Cottarelli as election turmoil deepens," 28 May 2018 On top of vows to slash taxes and raise pensions, the four-time premier is promising free check-ups at the vet, tax breaks for pet food, and subsidies for animal adoptions. Gregory Viscusi, Bloomberg.com, "Berlusconi and His Poodle Promise a New Deal for Italian Pets," 13 Feb. 2018 The duo made an appearance in a photo during a family collage projected at the kickoff show in Cardiff, U.K., during a montage for what appeared to be a vow renewal ceremony. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, "Beyoncé & JAY-Z Have a 'Small Celebration' in Europe for Twins' First Birthday: 'They're the Cutest'," 14 June 2018 In the season 1 finale, Larry decided to hold a special vow renewal ceremony for himself and Theresa, after being married for 22 years. Tamara Fuentes, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About 'Long Island Medium' Stars Theresa and Larry Caputo's 28-Year Marriage," 13 Apr. 2018 Here comes the most nerve-wracking part of the ceremony: The vow and ring exchange. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Body Language Experts Analyze Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's Royal Wedding," 13 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The pair went silent, vowing to keep every design change private. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 The Trump administration, vowing to make its own rates for parcels coming into the United States, is effectively setting up another barrier to trade with China. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Here’s why Trump threatened to pull out of a 144-year-old postal treaty," 19 Oct. 2018 As a candidate for president, Donald Trump vowed to accomplish a great many things with the ease and simplicity of snapping his fingers. Mark Z. Barabak, latimes.com, "Stymied elsewhere, Trump turns to pardons to advance personal and policy goals," 12 July 2018 But the West Virginia Democrat has not said if a nominee vowing to overturn Roe v. Wade would swing his vote. Eliza Collins, USA TODAY, "These six senators could make or break President Trump's Supreme Court nominee," 9 July 2018 Trump may have vowed to only nominate Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade, which would jeopardize women’s constitutional rights to liberty and privacy, in addition to ensuring that many women will die. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Very Reassuring: Trump Says Ivanka and Melania ‘Love the Women’," 28 June 2018 Trump on Wednesday vowed to nominate a replacement quickly, working off an existing short list of candidates. Jonathan Tamari, Philly.com, "With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, Trump's lasting power is amplified," 27 June 2018 Merkel herself projected calm, dismissing speculation that her government is in trouble and vowing to keep her three-party coalition afloat. John Follain, Bloomberg.com, "Salvini Tells Germany Next Year Will Show Whether EU Has Future," 22 June 2018 The extremist group has vowed retribution on Kenya for its troop presence in Somalia. Tom Odula, The Seattle Times, "Suspected Islamic extremists abduct 2 Cuban doctors in Kenya," 12 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The upcoming vote on the Democratic plan marked a departure for McConnell, who had vowed to allow no votes on shutdown measures unless Trump would sign them. Andrew Taylor, The Seattle Times, "Senate sets up showdown votes on shutdown plans," 22 Jan. 2019 The documentary focuses in part on the rage of the parents of the dead boys, who vow to hunt down and kill the accused killers if they are not convicted of the crime. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Last of Us: Part II will be a tale of revenge, its director says," 14 June 2018 Its administration is not recognized internationally or by the Syrian government, which has vowed to bring all the country’s territory back under its control. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Syrian group wants international tribunal for IS detainees," 25 Mar. 2019 The House has vowed to get to the bottom of who paid that money, which is thought to have contributed to the accusations against Greitens becoming public and the cascading scandals that ultimately drove him from office. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "‘Our wounds will heal,’ Gov. Mike Parson tells lawmakers gathered in joint session," 11 June 2018 The Golden Door has also vowed to mount a signature-gathering campaign with the goal of having a measure put on a county-wide ballot in 2020 that would overturn any project approvals. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Newland Sierra housing project in North County goes before Planning Commission Thursday," 26 June 2018 The company has also vowed to make 50 percent of its trips shared between multiple passengers (up from 35 percent now where their ride-sharing feature exists). Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Will Uber and Lyft Become Different Things?," 7 June 2018 Following the revelation last season that another contestant, Lee Garrett, had posted offensive things on his social media, Bachelor producers vowed to tighten their vetting process. Laura Bradley, HWD, "Bachelorette Front-Runner Apologizes After Instagram Scandal," 1 June 2018 The Glee alum exchanged vows with her now-husband on Saturday, March 9 in front of a group of their closest friends and family, People reports. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Lea Michele and Zandy Reich Are Married," 10 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vow

Statistics for vow

Last Updated

4 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vow

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on vow

What made you want to look up vow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!