de·​vo·​tion | \ di-ˈvō-shən How to pronounce devotion (audio) , dē- \

Definition of devotion

1a : religious fervor : piety
b : an act of prayer or private worship usually used in plural during his morning devotions
c : a religious exercise or practice other than the regular corporate (see corporate sense 2) worship of a congregation
2a : the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity : the act of devoting the devotion of a great deal of time and energy
b : the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal her devotion to the cause filial devotion
3 obsolete : the object of one's devotion

Choose the Right Synonym for devotion

fidelity, allegiance, fealty, loyalty, devotion, piety mean faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty. fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty. marital fidelity allegiance suggests an adherence like that of citizens to their country. pledging allegiance fealty implies a fidelity acknowledged by the individual and as compelling as a sworn vow. fealty to the truth loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray. valued the loyalty of his friends devotion stresses zeal and service amounting to self-dedication. a painter's devotion to her art piety stresses fidelity to obligations regarded as natural and fundamental. filial piety

Devotion Has Latin Roots

Devotion and the verb devote come from the act of taking a vow (the Latin verb vovēre means "to vow"). Devote was once used as an adjective that could mean either "devout" or "devoted." While devout implies faithfulness of a religious nature ("a devout parishioner), devoted refers to one's commitment to another through love and loyalty ("a singer's devoted fans").

Examples of devotion in a Sentence

She has cared for the poor with selfless devotion. The devotion they felt for each other was obvious. The project will require the devotion of a great deal of time and money. They spend an hour each morning at their devotions.
Recent Examples on the Web Ruangrupa’s devotion to the collaborative process and its various allergies — toward authorship, markets, ticketed shows and all the other beams and buttresses of the art world — are thoroughgoing. New York Times, 9 June 2022 But the devotion and power represented by that chorus, that melody, that feeling, somehow connect to people in this context. Alan Light, Variety, 30 May 2022 Boston was a center of both Protestant devotion and intellectual innovation. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 18 May 2022 White wants people to remember her daughter for her devotion and love as a mother. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 10 May 2022 The difficulty Manchester United might have with Phillips is his devotion and love for current club Leeds. Liam Canning, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 In 1984 Pham worked as a systems engineer for Steve Jobs when Apple was a small company; their paths didn’t cross for long, but Pham never forgot Jobs’ utter sense of devotion and belief in a product. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 5 Mar. 2022 In Wright’s version, Cyrano’s proud and vain outburst onstage is really just a performative bit of theatre criticism, an act of sincere principle inseparable from his romantic devotion and his martial virtue. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 25 Feb. 2022 Fourteen years later, Emmett is a clever, happy young man, a fact that both establishes Mamie’s maternal devotion and amplifies the tragedy to come. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of devotion

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for devotion

see devote

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Time Traveler for devotion

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

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Dictionary Entries Near devotion

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Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Devotion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for devotion


de·​vo·​tion | \ di-ˈvō-shən How to pronounce devotion (audio) \

Kids Definition of devotion

1 : deep love or loyalty
2 : an act of giving (as effort or time) to something His devotion of many hours of work was rewarded.
3 : a religious exercise or practice (as prayers) especially that is private

More from Merriam-Webster on devotion

Nglish: Translation of devotion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of devotion for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about devotion


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