English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English avowen, from Old French avouer, from Latin advocare (to call to, call upon, hence to call as a witness, defender, patron, or advocate), from ad (to) + vocare (to call). Doublet of advoke, avouch, and advocate. Not related to vow.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /əˈvaʊ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊ

Verb edit

avow (third-person singular simple present avows, present participle avowing, simple past and past participle avowed)

  1. (transitive) To declare openly and boldly, as something believed to be right; to own, acknowledge or confess frankly.
    • 1858, Henry Stephens Randall, The Life of Thomas Jefferson, volume 1, page 461:
      [] in 1786, and for some period later, there were few, if any, prominent Americans, who avowed themselves in favor of broadly democratic systems.
  2. (transitive) To bind or devote by a vow.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif to this entry?)
  3. (law) To acknowledge and justify, as an act done. See avowry.

Antonyms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit


  1. (obsolete) avowal
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Twelfth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      without thy Knowledge and Avow

Further reading edit