Meaning of “vow” in the English Dictionary

"vow" in British English

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vowverb [ T ]

uk /vaʊ/ us /vaʊ/

C2 to make a determined decision or promise to do something:

[ + (that) ] The guerrillas vowed (that) they would overthrow the government.
[ + to infinitive ] After the awful meals we had last Christmas, I vowed to do more of the cooking myself.

More examples

  • From that day on, she vowed never to trust him again.
  • After a lengthy and painful divorce, she vowed never to remarry.
  • She has vowed to stand by her husband during his trial.
  • She has vowed to remain true to the president whatever happens.
  • Tamir, one of several sons of the exiled ruler, vowed he would liberate his country from the tyrant.

vownoun [ C ]

uk /vaʊ/ us /vaʊ/

C2 a serious promise or decision:

[ + to infinitive ] She took/made a vow never to lend money to anyone again.

More examples

  • Cistercian monks and nuns take a vow of silence.
  • He took a vow to abstain from alcohol.
  • As a monk, he took vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
  • They decided to renew their wedding vows.

(Definition of “vow” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"vow" in American English

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us /vɑʊ/

to make a firm promise or decision to do something:

[ + (that) clause ] They vowed (that) they would never forget her kindness.
[ + to infinitive ] After my illness I vowed to exercise every day.
noun [ C ] us /vɑʊ/

They exchanged marriage vows in a Manhattan courthouse.

(Definition of “vow” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)