verb (used with object)

to declare frankly or openly; own; acknowledge; confess; admit: He avowed himself an opponent of all alliances.

Origin of avow

1150–1200; Middle English avowen < Old French avoue(r) < Latin advocāre. See advocate
Related formsa·vow·a·ble, adjectivea·vow·er, nounre·a·vow, verb (used with object)un·a·vow·a·ble, adjectiveun·a·vow·a·ble·ness, nounun·a·vow·a·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for avow

Contemporary Examples of avow

Historical Examples of avow

  • It is wise, and may be useful, on all proper occasions, to avow our convictions.

  • All mankind are like us, but they have not the candour to avow it.'

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • As it was, I found it impossible to avow the one without the other.

  • He was forced to avow the wisdom of my counsel, and to be guided by it.

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • I have at least reached the point in life where men not only have convictions but avow them.'

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

British Dictionary definitions for avow


verb (tr)

to state or affirm
to admit openly
law rare to justify or maintain (some action taken)
Derived Formsavowable, adjectiveavowal, nounavowed (əˈvaʊd), adjectiveavowedly (əˈvaʊɪdlɪ), adverbavower, noun

Word Origin for avow

C13: from Old French avouer to confess, from Latin advocāre to appeal to, call upon; see avouch, advocate
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 avow

early 13c., from Anglo-French avouer, Old French avoer "acknowledge, accept, recognize," especially as a protector (Modern French avouer), from Latin advocare (see advocate). A synonym of avouch (q.v.), which tends to contain the more technical, legal aspect of the word. Related: Avowed; avowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper