vow

[vou]
noun
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.
3.
a solemn or earnest declaration.
verb (used with object)
4.
to make a vow of; promise by a vow, as to God or a saint: to vow a crusade or a pilgrimage.
5.
to pledge or resolve solemnly to do, make, give, observe, etc.: They vowed revenge.
6.
to declare solemnly or earnestly; assert emphatically (often followed by a clause as object): She vowed that she would take the matter to court.
7.
to dedicate or devote by a vow: to vow oneself to the service of God.
verb (used without object)
8.
to make a vow.
9.
to make a solemn or earnest declaration.
Idioms
10.
take vows, to enter a religious order or house.

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

vower, noun
vowless, adjective
unvowed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vow (vaʊ)
 
n
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
3.  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
 
vb
4.  (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
5.  (tr) to dedicate or consecrate to God, a deity, or a saint
6.  (tr; usually takes a clause as object) to assert or swear emphatically
7.  archaic (intr) to declare solemnly
 
[C13: from Old French vou, from Latin vōtum a solemn promise, from vovēre to vow]
 
'vower
 
n
 
'vowless
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

vow
c.1300, from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr. vou, from L. votum "a vow, wish, promise, dedication," noun use of neut. of votus, pp. of vovere "to promise solemnly, pledge, dedicate, vow," from PIE base *ewegwh- "to speak solemnly, vow" (cf. Skt. vaghat- "one who offers a sacrifice;" Gk. eukhe "vow, wish," eukhomai
"I pray"). The verb is attested from c.1300, from O.Fr. vouer.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

vow

sacred voluntary promise to dedicate oneself or members of one's family or community to a special obligation that goes beyond usual social or religious requirements.

Learn more about vow with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Making a public vow is a time-honored way to stick to one's commitments.
The global goodwill resulting from such a high-profile vow would be enormous.
It also comes as automakers vow to bring us plug-in hybrids and electric
  vehicles within the next few years.
Plan to eliminate other parts of speech as needed, maybe take vow of silence.
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