from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An earnest promise to perform a specified act or behave in a certain manner, especially a solemn promise to live and act in accordance with the rules of a religious order: take the vows of a nun.
  • n. A declaration or assertion.
  • transitive v. To promise solemnly; pledge. See Synonyms at promise.
  • transitive v. To make a pledge or threat to undertake: vowing revenge on their persecutors.
  • intransitive v. To make a vow; promise.
  • transitive v. To declare or assert: "Well, I vow it is as fine a boy as ever was seen!” ( Henry Fielding).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A solemn promise to perform some act, or behave in a specified manner, especially a promise to live and act in accordance with the rules of a religious order.
  • n. A declaration or assertion.
  • v. To make a vow.
  • v. To declare publicly that one made a vow, usually to show one's determination or to announce an act of retaliation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A solemn promise made to God, or to some deity; an act by which one consecrates or devotes himself, absolutely or conditionally, wholly or in part, for a longer or shorter time, to some act, service, or condition; a devotion of one's possessions.
  • n. Specifically, a promise of fidelity; a pledge of love or affection.
  • intransitive v. To make a vow, or solemn promise.
  • transitive v. To give, consecrate, or dedicate to God, or to some deity, by a solemn promise; to devote; to promise solemnly.
  • transitive v. To assert solemnly; to asseverate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To promise solemnly; undertake, by a solemn promise, as to God or a deity, to do, perform, or give; devote.
  • To threaten solemnly or upon oath.
  • To assert or maintain solemnly; asseverate; swear.
  • To make vows or solemn promises; protest solemnly; asseverate; declare emphatically.
  • n. A solemn promise; an engagement solemnly entered into.
  • n. A promise to follow out some line of conduct, or to consecrate or devote one's self wholly or in part for a longer or shorter time to some act or service; a pledge of fidelity or constancy: as, a marriage vow.
  • n. A solemn asseveration or declaration; a positive assertion.
  • n. A votive offering; an ex-voto.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. dedicate to a deity by a vow
  • v. make a vow; promise
  • n. a solemn pledge (to oneself or to another or to a deity) to do something or to behave in a certain manner


Middle English vou, from Old French, from Latin vōtum; see vote.
Short for avow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French vut, from Latin votum ("a promise, dedication, vow"), from vovere ("to promise, vow"). (Wiktionary)


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