Definition of devote in English:



  • 1Give all or a large part of one's time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause)

    ‘I wanted to devote more time to my family’
    ‘she devoted herself to fundraising’
    • ‘The farmhouses were $80-100,000, and I didn't relish devoting our lives and cash we don't have to restoring them.’
    • ‘He retired from the army in 1910 to devote his energies to the Boy Scout movement he had founded several years earlier.’
    • ‘After undergoing a second liver transplant himself, Pat is taking life a little easier and is devoting himself full-time to tending to his garden in between hospital check-ups.’
    • ‘Grady prefers to remain in stiflingly hot New York, devoting her summer to crossing social boundaries by conducting a secret liaison with Clyde Manzer, a working-class Jewish car park attendant some years her senior.’
    • ‘I also came to express my thanks to the artists who are devoting their time and talents to such a vital cause.’
    • ‘We cannot say how much it costs us, but it will mean a lot of staff devoting time to carry out the audit and we would not do that lightly.’
    • ‘‘The best chef in the country told me I had a talent and that I could work in his restaurant any time,’ said Claire, who had been unsure about devoting her life to cooking until Ramsay sang her praises.’
    • ‘He's taken up freight delivery now that he has left the Army to devote his efforts to finding the gun runner.’
    • ‘This man in his 40s, who wants to remain completely anonymous, hopes to be able to stop working, thanks to this sale, and realize an old dream: devoting himself to painting.’
    • ‘And the authority has praised Mr Hampson as a ‘committed and devoted teacher’ who worked tirelessly throughout the year.’
    • ‘The people who have trouble finding part time work are well-off women like me, in desireable careers, who want to keep their hand in while devoting themselves to raising their children.’
    • ‘Therefore, devoting substantial staff resources to training, organizing, leading, and sustaining family psychoeducation is seen as a luxury.’
    • ‘The former slaves of Saint Domingue and Guadeloupe abandoned plantation toil whenever they could, instead devoting themselves to subsistence cultivation.’
    • ‘Like Franklin D. Roosevelt, his efforts at first were devoted to preventing further weakening of an army that many, Hitler among them, regarded as irrelevant.’
    • ‘It showed us the plight of Pam, a 50-something still-attractive widow who, having raised at least one daughter, is now devoting her middle years to the care of her ageing mother, Olive.’
    • ‘But this book is not just about the sport's elite competitors but also acknowledges those club athletes who are far from the sharp end of the field, despite devoting hours to training each week in all weathers.’
    • ‘It needs about $100,000 a year to operate, and the few volunteers they have are devoting a disproportionate number of their hours to raising money, taking time away from what they want to be doing inside.’
    • ‘It is incumbent upon all Muslims to devote a proportion of their excess income to the support of religious and charitable works.’
    • ‘Those over 35 suffered most from devoting their energies to family life while holding down a career - 90% said their relationship had been badly affected.’
    • ‘Although conceptions about the subject have indeed evolved, there still remains a relatively close bond between young adults and their traditional morals of settling down and devoting themselves to a family life.’
    allocate, assign, allot, commit, give, give over, afford, apportion, surrender, consign, sacrifice, pledge, dedicate, consecrate
    set aside, earmark, reserve, designate, spare
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic Invoke or pronounce a curse upon.

    • ‘And the hostile army was devoted with dire execrations to the gods of war and of thunder.’
    • ‘The priestesses and priests turning towards the setting sun, the dwelling of the infernal gods, devoted with curses the sacrilegious wretch.’


Late 16th century (in the sense dedicate formally, consecrate): from Latin devot- consecrated from the verb devovere, from de- formally + vovere to vow.