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[voh-tuh-ree] /ˈvoʊ tə ri/
noun, plural votaries. Also, votarist
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
3. buff, fan, admirer, devotee. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for votaries
Historical Examples
  • They slaughtered the votaries of the strange worship, and once more the rock was red with blood.

    Pearl-Maiden H. Rider Haggard
  • The votaries of the saint will get up a petition to have his body moved.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • And yet the honor thus gained has not, we venture to say, been all that its votaries desired.

    The Yellowstone National Park Hiram Martin Chittenden
  • Some of its votaries, on the other hand, are inclined to exalt it unduly.

  • Saloon service was a little better, and that, too, had its votaries.

  • Love can build a shelter for his votaries, and has a sun-shine of his own.

    Cruel Barbara Allen David Christie Murray
  • But to see the votaries of the 'reeling goddess,' after successive nights passed in her temples!

  • His votaries were not encumbered with an exalted code of morality.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • Some of the proprietors, and twenty of the votaries, were captured, together with the guilty instruments of their occupation.

  • For music is of all arts the one which insists on most co-operation on the part of its votaries.

    Laurus Nobilis Vernon Lee
British Dictionary definitions for votaries


noun (pl) -ries
(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 Forms
votaress, votress, noun:feminine
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for votaries



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
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