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

After the vows, guests were photographed upon arrival to the reception in front of a concrete backdrop created by Jessie Browning, and enjoyed cocktails on daybeds from LOHO and loungers from Flexible Love. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Bridal Shop Owner Wore Five Different Dresses for her Palm Springs Wedding," 10 July 2018 The touching vows are followed by footage of the couple's first kiss and dance at their 1920s themed reception. Fox News, "Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook's wedding video teaser reveals their emotional vows," 10 July 2018 The audience greeted the vows with ripples of joyous laughter. Christina Boyle, latimes.com, "Joyous crowds greet newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after their marriage ceremony," 19 May 2018 At the age of 15, Norma entered the convent and took final vows as SR. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/8," 8 July 2018 The couple has chosen a modern set of wedding vows, and the text of the formal parts of the service are taken from Common Worship, the Church of England's standard liturgy, first published in 2000. Laura Smith-spark, CNN, "Royal wedding: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to marry in Windsor," 19 May 2018 Their ceremonies were vastly different, while the verbiage of their vows stayed almost identical. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan and Harry's First Photos as Newlyweds Compared to Kate and William's," 20 May 2018 Like any wedding ceremony, there were choir songs, exchange of vows, and prayers of well-wishes for the new couple. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "The Breakout Star Of The Royal Wedding Was Bishop Michael Curry's Fire Speech," 19 May 2018 Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American to head the Episcopal Church in the U.S., delivered a 13-minute sermon ahead of the couple's vows, touching on slavery, poverty, and the redemptive power of love. Luke Darby, GQ, "Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon Stole the Show at the Royal Wedding," 19 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some parents had been separated from their children even before Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy in May, vowing to prosecute everyone who crossed the border illegally. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "Trump officials: Nearly half of young migrants ineligible to reunite with parents," 12 July 2018 Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to challenge Donald Trump on trade and climate at this week’s Group of Seven summit, saying the lack of room for compromise means leaders may fail to agree on a final statement. Arne Delfs, Bloomberg.com, "Merkel Warns of G-7 Summit Split Over Trump’s ‘America First’," 6 June 2018 The angriest of all was SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who vowed his league would never have another undefeated champion denied a chance at a national title. Andy Staples, SI.com, "The Chaos and Consequences of the BCS, 20 Years After Its Inaugural Season," 9 July 2018 And the Capital Gazette has vowed to continue publishing in the wake of the shooting. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Five newspaper staff killed by man who sued them for covering his online threats and harassment," 29 June 2018 Other opponents of the runway vowed to continue their fight to prevent further noise and air pollution. The Economist, "Politics this week," 28 June 2018 Organizers and city officials have vowed to continue the event in the future. Robert Moran, Philly.com, "'Shots fired! Shots fired! … Everybody out!' Terror and chaos at Trenton arts festival," 27 June 2018 Opponents vowed to continue to fight Trump in the courts. David Nakamura, chicagotribune.com, "Travel ban ruling could embolden Trump in remaking U.S. immigration system," 26 June 2018 At the same time, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to contradict Mr. McAleenan and Ms. Sanders, vowing Monday to continue enforcing Mr. Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. New York Times, "Border Officials Suspend Handing Over Migrant Families to Prosecutors," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kane may have been made captain by Gareth Southgate but Dier, who has also been handed the armband under his tenure, vowed to stay vocal. SI.com, "England Star Eric Dier Tips Club Teammate Harry Kane to Fire Three Lions to World Cup Glory," 29 May 2018 In response to the incident, members of Tunisia’s parliament met with Binous and vowed to help her get justice. Yesha Callahan, The Root, "Pilot Kicks Passenger Off Flight for Hurling Racial Slur at Flight Attendant," 23 May 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 The president had vowed to ban Muslims during the 2016 presidential campaign and continued his attacks on Twitter after his election. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court upholds President Trump's travel ban against majority-Muslim countries," 26 June 2018 Sanford lost his primary last week to state Representative Katie Arrington, who had vowed to be more supportive of the president, after Trump urged voters to dump him shortly before the election. Jaclyn Reiss, BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s why Trump is taunting a Republican congressman on Twitter," 20 June 2018 The comic, who had vowed to leave Twitter on Tuesday following the backlash only to return to the social media platform later that evening to blame her tweets on Ambien, also apologized to her young Roseanne costar Jayden Rey on Thursday. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Roseanne Barr Says She "Begged" ABC's Ben Sherwood Not to Cancel Her Show," 1 June 2018 Treichl had vowed on television to rebuild and was described as distraught by Emma, who had returned from France to be by his side. David Usborne, Town & Country, "The Mysterious Case of the Parnham House Fire," 29 May 2018 Evans, who is white, was raised by a teenage mother in the rural northwest corner of the state and had vowed to win over moderates in the general election. NBC News, "Stacey Abrams wins Georgia 'Battle of the Staceys' in bid to become first black female governor in U.S.," 23 May 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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Phrases Related to vow

vow of chastity

Statistics for vow

Last Updated

19 Oct 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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Comments on vow

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