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avow +‎ -al


  • Rhymes: -aʊəl
  • Audio (UK):(file)



avowal (countable and uncountable, plural avowals)

  1. An open declaration of affirmation or admission of knowledge.
    • 1813 January 27, [Jane Austen], chapter 11, in Pride and Prejudice: [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [George Sidney] for T[homas] Egerton, [], →OCLC:
      Elizabeth's astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent. This he considered sufficient encouragement, and the avowal of all that he felt and had long felt for her, immediately followed.
    • 1920, Edith Wharton, chapter I, in The Age of Innocence, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      It was only that afternoon that May Welland had let him guess that she “cared” (New York’s consecrated phrase of maiden avowal), and already his imagination, leaping ahead of the engagement ring, the betrothal kiss and the march from Lohengrin, pictured her at his side in some scene of old European witchery.
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, chapter 5, in The Line of Beauty [], 1st US edition, New York, N.Y.: Bloomsbury Publishing, →ISBN:
      “That's because I love you,” said Nick, singsong with the truth. Leo took in this chance for an echoing avowal; it was a brief deep silence, as tactical as it was undiscussable.



Derived terms