[ vou ]
See synonyms for: vowvowedvows on Thesaurus.com

  1. a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment: marriage vows; a vow of secrecy.

  2. a solemn promise made to a deity or saint committing oneself to an act, service, or condition.

  1. a solemn or earnest declaration.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make a vow of; promise by a vow, as to God or a saint: to vow a crusade or a pilgrimage.

  2. to pledge or resolve solemnly to do, make, give, observe, etc.: They vowed revenge.

  1. to declare solemnly or earnestly; assert emphatically (often followed by a clause as object): She vowed that she would take the matter to court.

  2. to dedicate or devote by a vow: to vow oneself to the service of God.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make a vow.

  2. to make a solemn or earnest declaration.

Idioms about vow

  1. take vows, to enter a religious order or house.

Origin of vow

1250–1300; Middle English <Anglo-French, Old French vo(u) <Latin vōtum, neuter of vōtus, past participle of vovēre to vow

Other words from vow

  • vower, noun
  • vowless, adjective
  • un·vowed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vow in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vow


/ (vaʊ) /

  1. a solemn or earnest pledge or promise binding the person making it to perform a specified act or behave in a certain way

  2. a solemn promise made to a deity or saint, by which the promiser pledges himself to some future act, course of action, or way of life

  1. take vows to enter a religious order and commit oneself to its rule of life by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, which may be taken for a limited period as simple vows or as a perpetual and still more solemn commitment as solemn vows

  1. (tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to pledge, promise, or undertake solemnly: he vowed that he would continue; he vowed to return

  2. (tr) to dedicate or consecrate to God, a deity, or a saint

  1. (tr; usually takes a clause as object) to assert or swear emphatically

  2. (intr) archaic to declare solemnly

Origin of vow

C13: from Old French vou, from Latin vōtum a solemn promise, from vovēre to vow

Derived forms of vow

  • vower, noun
  • vowless, adjective

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