noun, plural vo·ta·ries. Also vo·ta·rist.

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

Synonyms for votary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for votary

Historical Examples of votary

  • Not lightly must that votary be proved, who fain would free a people.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • Never was a votary endowed with a faith at once so lively and so capricious.


    Benjamin Disraeli

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

    The Young Duke

    Benjamin Disraeli

  • Thus it was that she kept her oaths; thus she repaid her votary.

    The World's Desire

    H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang

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

    Jewel Weed

    Alice Ames Winter

British Dictionary definitions for votary


noun plural -ries also: votarist

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 Formsvotaress or votress, fem n

Word Origin for votary

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

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