- a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment: marriage vows; a vow of secrecy.
- a solemn promise made to a deity or saint committing oneself to an act, service, or condition.
- a solemn or earnest declaration.
verb (used with object)
- to make a vow of; promise by a vow, as to God or a saint: to vow a crusade or a pilgrimage.
- to pledge or resolve solemnly to do, make, give, observe, etc.: They vowed revenge.
- to declare solemnly or earnestly; assert emphatically (often followed by a clause as object): She vowed that she would take the matter to court.
- to dedicate or devote by a vow: to vow oneself to the service of God.
verb (used without object)
- to make a vow.
- to make a solemn or earnest declaration.
- take vows, to enter a religious order or house.
- a solemn or earnest pledge or promise binding the person making it to perform a specified act or behave in a certain way
- 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
- 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
- (tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to pledge, promise, or undertake solemnlyhe vowed that he would continue; he vowed to return
- (tr) to dedicate or consecrate to God, a deity, or a saint
- (tr; usually takes a clause as object) to assert or swear emphatically
- (intr) archaic to declare solemnly
c.1300, from Anglo-French and Old French vou, from Latin votum “a vow, wish, promise, dedication,” noun use of neuter of votus, past participle of vovere “to promise solemnly, pledge, dedicate, vow,” from PIE root *ewegwh- “to speak solemnly, vow” (cf. Sanskrit vaghat- “one who offers a sacrifice;” Greek eukhe “vow, wish,” eukhomai “I pray”).
c.1300, from Old French vouer, from vou (see vow (n.)). Related: Vowed; vowing.