de·​vote di-ˈvōt How to pronounce devote (audio)
devoted; devoting

transitive verb

: to commit by a solemn act
devoted herself to serving God
: to give over or direct (time, money, effort, etc.) to a cause, enterprise, or activity
Part of the lecture was devoted to taking questions from the audience.
She devoted her life to public service.
devotement noun
Choose the Right Synonym for devote

devote, dedicate, consecrate, hallow mean to set apart for a special and often higher end.

devote is likely to imply compelling motives and often attachment to an objective.

devoted his evenings to study

dedicate implies solemn and exclusive devotion to a sacred or serious use or purpose.

dedicated her life to medical research

consecrate stresses investment with a solemn or sacred quality.

consecrate a church to the worship of God

hallow, often differing little from dedicate or consecrate, may distinctively imply an attribution of intrinsic sanctity.

battlegrounds hallowed by the blood of patriots

Example Sentences

I conscientiously devote several hours every weekend to playing with my dog. planning a diplomatic career, she's been intensely devoting herself to the study of foreign languages in college
Recent Examples on the Web Men tend to devote more time to work, but the difference is only 2.4 minutes. Trey Williams, Fortune, 24 Jan. 2023 Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget to devote more time to exploring and experiencing your own pleasure. Dr. Nan Wise, Glamour, 12 Jan. 2023 The broad message here is pretty simple: This is a good time to devote ourselves to perfecting our cocoons, buying fresh foods by shopping the perimeter of the supermarket and cooking more at home. Dallas News, 2 Dec. 2022 This easygoing approach gives him more time to devote to his favorite part of the preparation: baking pies. Susan Puckett, CNN, 19 Nov. 2022 The addition of Meyer — who in early July was promoted to deputy executive director of the union — has afforded Clark more time to devote to areas beyond labor strategy. Scott Miller, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2022 Another likely explanation is that the first year of the pandemic, with its unprecedented pause in live music, granted artists more time to devote to songwriting and recording — hence a surplus of new material. Zach Schonfeld, Vulture, 11 July 2022 Basinger and Wasson devote a chapter to the studio workforce, highlighting not only stars and directors but also camera operators, editors, costume designers, and composers. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Jan. 2023 Most nursing homes devote themselves to the narrow and perfectly reasonable goal of keeping residents safe and healthy. Marion Renault, The New Yorker, 23 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devote.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin devotus, past participle of devovēre, from de- + vovēre to vow

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of devote was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near devote

Cite this Entry

“Devote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​vote di-ˈvōt How to pronounce devote (audio)
devoted; devoting
: to set apart for a special purpose
devote land to farming
: to give (oneself) up to
devoted herself to her career

More from Merriam-Webster on devote

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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