Etymology
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preternuptial (adj.)

"beyond what is permitted by the marriage tie or vow," hence, euphemistically, "adulterous," 1833 (Carlyle), from preter- "beyond" + nuptial.

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dervish (n.)

"Islamic monk or friar who has taken a vow of poverty and austerity," 1580s, from Turkish dervish, from Persian darvesh, darvish "beggar, poor," hence "religious mendicant;" equivalent of Arabic faqir (see fakir). The "whirling dervishes" are one order among many. Originally dervis; modern spelling is from mid-19c.

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devoted (adj.)

1590s, "set apart by a vow," past-participle adjective from devote (v.). Meaning "characterized by devotion, ardent, zealous, strongly attached" is from c. 1600. Sense of "given up, especially to some harm or evil" is from 1610s. Related: Devotedly; devotedness.

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behest (n.)

c. 1200, from Old English behæs "a vow," perhaps from behatan "to promise" (from be- + hatan "command, call") and confused with obsolete hest "command," which may account for the unetymological -t as well as the Middle English shift in meaning to "command, injunction" (late 12c.). Both hatan and hest are from Proto-Germanic *haitanan, for which see hight.

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wager (n.)
c. 1300, wajour "a promise, a vow, something pledged or sworn to;" also "a bet, a wager; stakes, something laid down as a bet," from Anglo-French wageure, Old North French wagiere (Old French gagiere, Modern French gageure) "pledge, security," from wagier "to pledge" (see wage (n.)).
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wedlock (n.)
Old English wedlac "pledge-giving, marriage vow," from wed + -lac, noun suffix meaning "actions or proceedings, practice," attested in about a dozen Old English compounds (feohtlac "warfare"), but this is the only surviving example. Suffix altered by folk etymology through association with lock (n.1). Meaning "condition of being married" is recorded from early 13c.
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palmer (n.)

"pilgrim; itinerant monk going from shrine to shrine under a perpetual vow of poverty;" originally "pilgrim who has returned from the Holy Land," c. 1300, palmere (mid-12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French palmer (Old French palmier), from Medieval Latin palmarius, from Latin palma "palm tree" (see palm (n.2)). So called because they wore palm branches in commemoration of the journey. "The distinction between pilgrim and palmer seems never to have been closely observed" [Century Dictionary].

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defiance (n.)
Origin and meaning of defiance

c. 1300, defiaunce, "a challenge to fight, invitation to combat," from Old French desfiance "challenge, declaration of war," from desfiant, present participle of desfier "to challenge, defy, provoke; renounce (a belief), repudiate (a vow, etc.)," from Vulgar Latin *disfidare "renounce one's faith," from Latin dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidus "faithful" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). By 1710 as "contempt of opposition or danger."

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defy (v.)

c. 1300, defien, "to renounce one's allegiance;" mid-14c., "to challenge to fight, dare to meet in combat;" from Old French defier, desfier "to challenge, defy, provoke; renounce (a belief), repudiate (a vow, etc.)," from Vulgar Latin *disfidare "renounce one's faith" (in Medieval Latin diffidare), from Latin dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidus "faithful" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). By 1670s as "dare (someone) to do something (that the challenger believes cannot or will not be done)."

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pledge (n.)

mid-14c., plegge, "surety, bail," from Old French plege (Modern French pleige) "hostage, security, bail," also Anglo-Latin plegium, both probably from Frankish *plegan "to guarantee," from *pleg-, a West Germanic root meaning "have responsibility for" (source also of Old Saxon plegan "vouch for," Middle Dutch plien "to answer for, guarantee," Old High German pflegan "to care for, be accustomed to," Old English pleon "to risk the loss of, expose to danger"), from PIE root *dlegh- "to engage oneself, be or become fixed" [Watkins].

From late 14c. as "person who goes surety or gives bail for another;" late 15c. (Caxton) as "personal property given as surety for a debt or engagement. By 1520s as "a token or sign of favor, agreement, etc.

Meaning "allegiance vow attested by drinking with another" is from 1630s. Sense of "solemn promise, one's word given or considered as security for the performance (or refraining from) an act" is recorded by 1814, though this notion is from 16c. in the verb. Weekley notes the "curious contradiction" in pledge (v.) "to toast with a drink" (1540s) and pledge (n.) "the vow to abstain from drinking" (1833). Meaning "student who has agreed to join a fraternity or sorority" dates from 1901.

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