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Borrowed from Old French avouchier, from Latin advocāre, present active infinitive of advocō. Doublet of advocate, advoke, and avow.


avouch (third-person singular simple present avouches, present participle avouching, simple past and past participle avouched)

  1. To declare freely and openly; to assert.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, A View of the Present State of Ireland, Dublin: Hibernia Press, 1809, p. 76,[1]
      Neither indeede would I have thought, that any such antiquities could have been avouched for the Irish, that maketh me the more to long to see some other of your observations, which you have gathered out of that country []
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5,[2]
      If this which he avouches does appear,
      There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
  2. To acknowledge deliberately; to admit; to confess; to sanction.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Deuteronomy 26:17-18,[3]
      Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
  3. To confirm or verify, to affirm the validity of.
    • 1571, Arthur Golding, The Psalmes of David and others. With M. John Calvins Commentaries, “Epistle Dedicatorie,”[4]
      For ( [] as the sorowfull dooings of our present dayes do too certeinly avouch) greate men hurt not the common weale so much by beeing evil in respect of themselves, as by drawing others unto evil by their evil example.
    • 1855, Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity, London: John Murray, Volume 2, Book 4, Chapter 7, p. 159,[5]
      As a great public document, addressed to the whole Christian world by him who aspired to be the first ecclesiastic, we might be disposed to question its authenticity, if it were not avouched by the full evidence in its favour and its agreement with all the events of the period.
  4. To appeal to; to cite or claim as authority.

Related termsEdit


avouch (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) evidence; declaration
    • c. 1600, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene 1,[7]
      Before my God, I might not this believe
      Without the sensible and true avouch
      Of mine own eyes.