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From Old French avouchier, from Latin advocāre, present active infinitive of advocō. Doublet of advocate, advoke, and avow.





avouch (third-person singular simple present avouches, present participle avouching, simple past and past participle avouched)

  1. To declare freely and openly; to assert.
    • 1596 (date written; published 1633), Edmund Spenser, A Vewe of the Present State of Irelande [], Dublin: [] Societie of Stationers, [], →OCLC; republished as A View of the State of Ireland [] (Ancient Irish Histories), Dublin: [] Society of Stationers, [] Hibernia Press, [] [b]y John Morrison, 1809, →OCLC:
      Neither indeede would I have thought, that any such antiquities could have been avouched for the Irish, that maketh me the more to long to see some other of your observations, which you have gathered out of that country []
    • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene v]:
      If this which he avouches does appear,
      There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
  2. To acknowledge deliberately; to admit; to confess; to sanction.
  3. To confirm or verify, to affirm the validity of.
    • 1571, Arthur Golding, “To the Right Honorable and His Verie Good Lord Edward de Vere Erle of Oxinford, []”, in John Calvin, translated by Arthur Golding, The Psalmes of Dauid and Others. VVith M. Iohn Caluin’s Commentaries, London: [] Thomas East and Henry Middelton; for Lucas Harison, and G[e]orge Byshop, →OCLC, 1st part:
      For ( [] as the sorowfull dooings of our present dayes do too certeinly avouch) greate men hurt not the common weale so much by beeing evil in respect of themselves, as by drawing others unto evil by their evil example.
    • 1855, Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity[1], London: John Murray, Volume 2, Book 4, Chapter 7, p. 159:
      As a great public document, addressed to the whole Christian world by him who aspired to be the first ecclesiastic, we might be disposed to question its authenticity, if it were not avouched by the full evidence in its favour and its agreement with all the events of the period.
  4. To appeal to; to cite or claim as authority.

Derived terms






avouch (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) evidence; declaration