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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. A person, such as a monk or nun, who lives a religious life according to vows they have made.
  2. A devotee of a particular religion or cult.
  3. 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; […]
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 31, in The History of Pendennis. [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, OCLC 2057953:
      The room was commonly emptied after that, or only left in possession of a very few and persevering votaries of pleasure.
    • 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 February, James Joyce, “[Chapter 13]”, in Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      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.
  5. A loyal supporter or devoted admirer of a person or institution.