Definition of avow in US English:



  • reporting verb Assert or confess openly.

    with clause ‘he avowed that he had voted Republican in every election’
    with object ‘he avowed his change of faith’
    • ‘They can also see that the candidates have avowed not to disturb the corporate status quo.’
    • ‘It is a great tragedy that such research bodies in social sciences be controlled by those who are avowed opponents of secularism.’
    • ‘At no other period in the history of man have the environment and development been viewed as such avowed enemies.’
    • ‘Though avowing loyalty to Turkey's secular constitution, it nevertheless represents a fundamentalist form of Islam.’
    • ‘I don't think it's impermissible for the judge to openly avow that that Constitution is morally praiseworthy, that the United States is morally praiseworthy.’
    • ‘But as she avows to an enemy soldier, it would be a ‘mistake thinking I need [the League] to protect me.’’
    • ‘The Fascist Party openly avowed its aversion to democracy and the liberal state.’
    • ‘His own dignity, he avows, resides in killing others: only then is he a man.’
    • ‘‘There is no favouritism in selection at any level,’ he avows.’
    • ‘It may be that mother was growing more unhappy but I do not believe that she avowed her unhappiness and asserted a trial separation when coming to England.’
    • ‘The former cannot openly avow its goals and is a strategy well suited to subjects who have no political rights.’
    • ‘After openly avowing that his soul was bound with hers, William could not but be impatient with Elizabeth for refusing to make up her mind.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Baby Brother avowed that such a request was unfair, since the error was innocent and inconsequential.’
    • ‘For many avowed foodies and shopaholics, a trip to the FoodWorld is almost a weekly ritual that they thoroughly enjoy.’
    • ‘It is best explicable as an index of old-fashioned attitudes and its correlation with racism simply shows that it is now old-fashioned to avow openly racist attitudes.’
    • ‘Are men now prepared openly to avow their bisexuality?’
    • ‘There are a lot of regular guests who turn up just to tuck into salads, including many who are avowed weight-watchers.’
    • ‘He again avows his special love of democracy: ‘I have been democratically elected to public office.’’
    • ‘‘But please do not look for any logic in the movie because you will find none’, he avows.’
    • ‘The open letter signed yesterday by both men avows that all the tests ‘could and can’ (but not will) be met.’
    assert, declare, state, maintain, aver, attest, swear, vow, insist
    declared, sworn, self-confessed, confessed, self-proclaimed, acknowledged, admitted, open, overt
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the senses ‘acknowledge, approve’ and ‘vouch for’): from Old French avouer ‘acknowledge’, from Latin advocare ‘summon in defense’ (see avouch).