When you avow something, you say it openly for the whole world to hear. If you're a witness in a trial, you'll be asked to take an oath in which you'll avow that you'll tell the truth.

A simple way to remember the meaning of avow is that it sounds and looks a whole lot like "a vow," to which it's closely related. At the end of almost every wedding, the couple takes their vows, in which they avow their commitment to each other. To take a vow is to avow the things that you say in that vow. Be sure that you mean what you say when you avow something, because people will hold you to it. And don't mutter or mumble. That's no way to avow something.

Definitions of avow
  1. verb
    declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
    synonyms: affirm, assert, aver, swan, swear, verify
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    assert or affirm
    claim, take
    lay claim to; as of an idea
    authenticate, affirm to be true, genuine, or correct, as in an official capacity
    state firmly
    affirm or avow formally or solemnly
    assure, tell
    inform positively and with certainty and confidence
    type of:
    state emphatically and authoritatively
  2. verb
    admit openly and bluntly; make no bones about
    synonyms: avouch
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    refuse to acknowledge; disclaim knowledge of; responsibility for, or association with
    type of:
    acknowledge, admit
    declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of
Commonly confused words

aver / avow

To aver is to affirm and to avow is to openly declare. There's some overlap with these words because when people want to aver something — state a truth — they probably also want to avow it — say it publicly.

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