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From Latin votus, past participle of vovere (to vow, to devote).


votary (comparative more votary, superlative most votary)

  1. Consecrated by a vow or promise; consequent on a vow; devoted; promised.


votary (plural votaries)

  1. (religion) A person, such as a monk or nun, who lives a religious life according to vows they have made
  2. (religion) A devotee of a particular religion or cult
  3. (religion) A devout or zealous worshipper
  4. Someone who is devoted to a particular pursuit etc; an enthusiast.
    • 1771, Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling, London: Cassell, published 1886, pages 61-2:
      […] But it is not simply of the progress of luxury that we have to complain: did its votaries keep in their own sphere of thoughtless dissipation, we might despise them without emotion; but the frivolous pursuits of pleasure are mingled with the most important concerns of the state; […]
    • 1893, Henry James, Collaboration [1]
      He is such a votary of the modern that he was inevitably interested in the girl of the future and had matched one reform with another, being ready to marry without a penny, as the clearest way of expressing his appreciation, this favourable specimen of the type.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses Chapter 13
      Gerty was dressed simply but with the instinctive taste of a votary of Dame Fashion for she felt that there was just a might that he might be out.