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 Following the ceremony, when Robertson and Huff exchanged both personal and traditional vows, the bride and groom joined her parents, Willie and Korie Robertson, family and friends at an outdoor reception, which was held under a large tent. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, "Newlyweds Sadie Robertson and Christian Huff Share First Wedding Photos: 'Forever, Me and You'," 26 Nov. 2019 Romanian president reelected: Klaus Iohannis was reelected Romania's president Sunday, easily winning a runoff vote amid vows to continue fighting corruption and strengthen the rule of law. Washington Post, "World Digest: Nov. 24, 2019," 24 Nov. 2019 Officials said the blowback to Trump's vow to ban most flavored e-cigarettes had rattled him. Author: Josh Dawsey, Laurie Mcginley, Anchorage Daily News, "Fearing backlash, Trump pulls back from ban on e-cigarette flavors," 19 Nov. 2019 Avoid words for words sake; add a thoughtful quote to your program, highlighting something important to both of you as a couple, or choose to incorporate sentimental notes into personalized vows, speeches, or readings. Heather Hall, Harper's BAZAAR, "50 Inspiring Quotes on Love, Life, and Marriage for Your Wedding Day," 30 Oct. 2019 Ausbon said of a collective vow of playing in this season’s national championship game. Brent Zwerneman, ExpressNews.com, "Texas A&M offensive lineman: ‘There will be an upset’ at No. 1 Clemson," 2 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb State and federal lawmakers are vowing to seek a permanent ban next. Lakeidra Chavis, ProPublica, "There’s an Emergency Ban on Isolated Timeouts in Illinois Schools. What’s Next?," 23 Nov. 2019 The next day, Devon and Johnny exchanged vows at St Bartholomew's Anglican Church, one of the oldest structures on the island dating back to the 1850's, and where multiple couples in Johnny's family had renewed their vows in the past. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Top Model Devon Windsor Wed Alexis Co-Founder Jonathan Barbara in a Stunning Three-Day Wedding in St. Barths," 20 Nov. 2019 None of the three candidates has focused much on renewable portfolio standards, though each has vowed to sink billions of dollars into the development of new energy technologies and their deployment. Mark K. Matthews, Scientific American, "Democratic Presidential Contenders Chart Different Paths to Clean Energy," 13 Nov. 2019 Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are already vowing to do something about student loan debt. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Student loan debt: Strategies to pay it off faster, smarter," 3 Nov. 2019 The carrier has also vowed to cut its emissions in half by 2050. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Purchase Carbon Offsets for Your Next Flight," 25 Oct. 2019 As the use of instant replay has become ubiquitous, leagues are vowing more stridently than ever to get all of the calls right. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "With football officials under fire, who wants this job?," 15 Oct. 2019 Sutter Health officials insist the company faces fierce competition, vowing to detail in court the expansion of other health systems in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento Valley. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trial approaching in California hospital antitrust case," 22 Sep. 2019 The California senator just wrapped up her first swing to Iowa since August, and her campaign bet big on Iowa this week by vowing to have a third place or better finish in the state. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Sunday Trail Markers: The state of play in Iowa," 22 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb State and federal lawmakers are vowing to seek a permanent ban next. Lakeidra Chavis, ProPublica, "There’s an Emergency Ban on Isolated Timeouts in Illinois Schools. What’s Next?," 23 Nov. 2019 The leading candidates are vowing loyalty to the president and his policies. al, "What Democratic wins in Louisiana and Kentucky could mean for Doug Jones in Alabama," 22 Nov. 2019 State and federal lawmakers are vowing to seek a permanent ban next. Jennifer Smith Richards, chicagotribune.com, "Isolated timeouts have been temporarily banned in Illinois schools. What’s next?," 22 Nov. 2019 Gallagher's attorney, Timothy Parlatore, vowed to fight to keep Gallagher's Trident. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "Navy plans to strip SEAL's Trident, banish him from elite commando community," 20 Nov. 2019 Yet despite the persistence of abuse, many female lawmakers are vowing to continue on. Megan Specia, New York Times, "Threats and Abuse Prompt Female Lawmakers to Leave U.K. Parliament," 1 Nov. 2019 But the cryptocurrency plan concocted within his company is in trouble—partners are leaving, regulators are vowing to ban it, and legislators like Waters think Facebook should declare a moratorium on the plan. Wired, "Mark Zuckerberg Endures Another Grilling on Capitol Hill," 23 Oct. 2019 As the use of instant replay has become ubiquitous, leagues are vowing more stridently than ever to get all of the calls right. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "With football officials under fire, who wants this job?," 15 Oct. 2019 After months of keeping a relatively low-profile as President Donald Trump leveled a barrage of unsubstantiated accusations of corruption at him, the younger Biden is publicly vowing to avoid any conflict of interest. BostonGlobe.com, "Hunter Biden is stepping down from the board of a Chinese-backed private equity company and promising to forego all foreign work if his father, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020.," 14 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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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

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Vow.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vower?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=v&file=vower001. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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