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 EARLY THIS year China’s leader, Xi Jinping, grandly repeated his country’s longstanding vow to bring the democratic island of Taiwan back into the Chinese fold, if necessary by force. The Economist, "China tries to deepen economic ties with Taiwan yet more," 7 Nov. 2019 Even those that suggest or levy self-punishments often close ranks and hunker down, hire outside counsel and vow to fight the penalties, big and small. David Skretta, chicagotribune.com, "Schools, coaches more willing to fight NCAA allegations," 5 Nov. 2019 Those men were later subjected to harsher punishment amid vows of judicial reform. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "Outrage Greets Verdict in Sex Attack on Unconscious Teenager," 31 Oct. 2019 To think that those in power in the hierarchy of the church who preach these vows and the 10 commandments knew this was going on and didn’t protect us. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Disgust, validation, hope: Survivors, Catholics react to report detailing 70 years of Colorado clergy sex abuse," 25 Oct. 2019 Coverage of celebrity weddings, for the most part, tend to zero in on details like the dress, the venue, the A-list guest roster, and maybe even an inside scoop of the exchange of vows. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lawrence's Wedding Will Reportedly Take Place This Weekend—and the Menu Includes S'mores," 17 Oct. 2019 The only part of that speech that people seem to remember is the vow—not the challenge. Sarah M. Broom, Marie Claire, "All Hail Regina King," 10 Oct. 2019 Constitutional lawyers say Trump’s vow not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry is unprecedented and unlikely to spare him from being formally charged by the House. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Powerless in California," 10 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile, companies from tech to trucking vow to continue their resistance. Judy Lin, The Mercury News, "Labor had a banner year in California — now will workers unionize?," 21 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Price, the 61-year-old Lake County Republican Party chairman who vowed to bring fiscal conservatism to the City Council, would have needed to flip three more votes to claim a one-vote win. Jerry Fallstrom, orlandosentinel.com, "Recount confirms 5-vote victory for Tavares Mayor Troy Singer," 8 Nov. 2019 The company vowed not to share the data generated through the tool with third parties. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Facebook vows strict privacy safeguards as it rolls out preventive-health tool," 28 Oct. 2019 His coach, Spoelstra, has already vowed to stick with Herro, through the ups and the downs that are inevitable for the rookie – which says a lot about both of them, but especially the faith that Herro has inspired in just the fourth week of October. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Nickel: Miami is the perfect fit for Milwaukee's Tyler Herro," 26 Oct. 2019 Robinson vowed to match the money raised with his own donation, resulting in $154,000 for direct patient care in Malawi. Jack Tregoning, Billboard, "Top 10 Do-Gooding DJs: Bassnectar, Griz, Ida Engberg and More," 23 Oct. 2019 Never before have so many vowed, researched how, and debated ways to buy better, eat better, and travel better. Juliet Kinsman, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airlines Are Offsetting Their Own Carbon Footprint," 11 Oct. 2019 At a House Energy and Commerce panel hearing in May, Pai would not vow to impose any mandates, saying that the FCC staff is studying the issue. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "Cell Phone Service Must Be Restored Quicker after Hurricanes," 8 Oct. 2019 Nearly 52%—a majority of 1.3 million—wanted out, and conservative politicians vowed to carry out the people's wishes. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Split decisions: How Brexit has taken a toll on five researchers," 3 Oct. 2019 Theseus volunteers as one of the sacrificial victims and vows to slay the Minotaur. Amaranta Sbardella, National Geographic, "The monstrous Minotaur riveted ancient Greece and Rome," 1 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The party has vowed to be much tougher on both Catalan separatists and migrants. SFChronicle.com, "Ruling leftists in Spain win election, but far-right party surges," 10 Nov. 2019 Buoyed by Scott's love for the park, Mayor Sylvester Turner has vowed to bring it back. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Travis Scott brings Astroworld back to Houston for a second year," 9 Nov. 2019 Both organizations have vowed to uphold the country's Paris pledge. oregonlive, "Cities, states and companies vow to meet US climate goals without Trump. Can they?," 4 Nov. 2019 Renault’s chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, has vowed to do just that, hoping that a recent change of leadership at the top of both Renault and Nissan will help. The Economist, "Peugeot’s boss, Carlos Tavares, plans a merger with Fiat Chrysler," 31 Oct. 2019 His coach, Spoelstra, has already vowed to stick with Herro, through the ups and the downs that are inevitable for the rookie – which says a lot about both of them, but especially the faith that Herro has inspired in just the fourth week of October. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Nickel: Miami is the perfect fit for Milwaukee's Tyler Herro," 26 Oct. 2019 The Australian flag carrier has vowed to cut fifty percent of its net emissions by 2050. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Purchase Carbon Offsets for Your Next Flight," 25 Oct. 2019 After 21 players saw action last Sunday, defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus has vowed to keep rotating players at every level. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Colts injury report vs. Broncos: (Almost) No news is good news," 25 Oct. 2019 Trump took office vowing to crack down on foreign countries that had taken advantage of the United States in trade. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "White House delayed Ukraine trade decision in August, a signal that U.S. suspension of cooperation extended beyond security funds," 24 Oct. 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.

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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

16 Nov 2019

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
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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