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[voh-tuh-ree] /ˈvoʊ tə ri/
noun, plural votaries. Also, votarist
a person who is bound by solemn religious vows, as a monk or a nun.
an adherent of a religion or cult; a worshiper of a particular deity or sacred personage.
a person who is devoted or addicted to some subject or pursuit:
a votary of jazz.
a devoted follower or admirer.
consecrated by a vow.
of or relating to a vow.
Origin of votary
1540-50; < Latin vōt(um) a vow + -ary
3. buff, fan, admirer, devotee. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for votary
Historical Examples
  • He was a man undegraded, the disciple of reason, not the votary of sense.

    Shirley Charlotte Bront
  • “I, as well as you Americans, can be the votary of business,” answered Ram Juna.

    Jewel Weed Alice Ames Winter
  • It was not as a believer, not as a votary that he spoke, however, but as a lover.

    Trevethlan: Volume 1 William Davy Watson
  • Never was a votary endowed with a faith at once so lively and so capricious.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • He was early a votary of the Muse; and, in youth, was familiar with the older Scottish bards.

  • It pre-supposes in its votary a mind essentially mercantile.

    The Young Duke Benjamin Disraeli
  • He was a German, a pupil of Overbeck and a votary of spiritual art.

    Roderick Hudson Henry James
  • That votary of the muse arrived punctually at twelve o'clock.

    Kenelm Chillingly, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • He loves the idol he serves, and prays day and night that his frenzy may be fed, and that the Ox-eyed may smile on her votary.

    Shirley Charlotte Bront
  • These are all doctors, and it is their business to instruct the votary in the object of his mission.

    La Ronge Journal, 1823 George Nelson
British Dictionary definitions for votary


noun (pl) -ries
(RC Church, Eastern Churches) a person, such as a monk or nun, who has dedicated himself or herself to religion by taking vows
a devoted adherent of a religion, cause, leader, pursuit, etc
ardently devoted to the services or worship of God, a deity, or a saint
Derived Forms
votaress, votress, noun:feminine
Word Origin
C16: from Latin vōtum a vow, from vovēre to vow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for votary

1540s, "one consecrated by a vow," from Latin votum (see vow). Originally "a monk or nun," general sense of "ardent devotee of some aim or pursuit" is from 1591 (in Shakespeare, originally in reference to love).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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