Printable Version
Pronunciation: vo-div Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Expressing a vow or pledge. 2. Responding to a vow or pledge.

Notes: Here is another word from the same source as vote, whose meaning is far removed from vote. Votive has an adverb, votively, but no noun votivity.

In Play: Votive is most often associated with offerings: "Charley spent his weekends in Las Vegas, casting his wealth like votive offerings in the glittering shrines of Fortuna." This adjective may be used as a noun referring to a votive candle or lamp: "Marta always lit a votive for her late mother when in church."

Word History: Today's Good Word is French votive, the feminine of votif "votive", which is the French makeover of Latin votivus. Votivus is the adjective for votum "vow, pledge, solemn promise", the neuter singular of the past participle, votus, of vovere "to vow, pledge, solemnly promise". Vote is the English remake of votum and vow is the English remake of Old French voe (Modern French vœu), a reduction of vovere. Vovere goes back to PIE wegwh-/wogwh- "to promise solemnly, preach, pledge", source also of Sanskrit vaghat- "someone offering a votive" and Greek eukhe "vow, wish". (Today's surprising Good Word came up in a discussion between Grand Panjandrums Perry Dror, Samuel Keays, Larry Brady, and "Sluggo" way back in 2006.)

Dr. Goodword,

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