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verb (used with object), vouch·safed, vouch·saf·ing.
  1. to grant or give, as by favor, graciousness, or condescension: to vouchsafe a reply to a question.
  2. to allow or permit, as by favor or graciousness: They vouchsafed his return to his own country.
verb (used without object), vouch·safed, vouch·saf·ing.
  1. to condescend; deign.

Origin of vouchsafe

1275–1325; Middle English phrase vouche sauf. See vouch, safe
Related formsvouch·safe·ment, nounun·vouch·safed, adjective


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1. bestow, confer, accord.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vouchsafe

Historical Examples

  • The priest thanked God for the respite He had been pleased to vouchsafe to him.

    Abbe Mouret's Transgression

    Emile Zola

  • No matter, if only God is pleased to vouchsafe 'signs following.'

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • Will one of you, his servants here, vouchsafe To signify my presence to the King?

    Browning's England

    Helen Archibald Clarke

  • Did n't she vouchsafe to offer you her admirable assistance?

  • It's a kind friend that will vouchsafe as much as 'Poor fellow!

British Dictionary definitions for vouchsafe


verb (tr)
  1. to give or grant or condescend to give or grantshe vouchsafed no reply; he vouchsafed me no encouragement
  2. (may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to agree, promise, or permit, often graciously or condescendinglyhe vouchsafed to come yesterday
  3. obsolete
    1. to warrant as being safe
    2. to bestow as a favour (upon)
Derived Formsvouchsafement, noun

Word Origin

C14: vouchen sauf; see vouch, safe
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

Word Origin and History for vouchsafe


c.1300, vouchen safe "to vouch as safe" (see vouch and safe).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper