One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A guardian, protector, or patron of a church or religious house; (Ecclesiastical Law) one holding the right to present a member of the clergy to a particular benefice or living. Compare "advowson". Now chiefly historical.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Bilson (?1547–1616), bishop of Winchester. From Middle French advoué, advoé, variant of avoé.
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