Part of speech: verb
Origin: Middle English, 15th century
Give or grant (something) to (someone) in a gracious or condescending manner.
Examples of Vouchsafe in a sentence
"My grandfather vouchsafed his precious war medals to me."
"The TikTok influencer vouchsafed some advice about investing in crypto, but Tamara was more cautious with her money."
Popularity Over Time
“Vouchsafe” has had many spellings — including “witchaff,” “voutsalfe,” and “wouchaiffe” — since it appeared in 16th century Middle English. In all cases, it derived from the combination of “vouch,” meaning “to warrant or guarantee” and “safe,” meaning “securely.”
Did you Know?
“Vouchsafe” is a formal word meaning to “give,” “grant,” or “bestow.” Originally, “vouchsafe” described people of power or authority graciously offering something they were not required to give. For many, this meant they were “condescending”—in the original sense of the term: they were descending from a high position to give something. However, in modern use, “vouchsafe” is often used condescendingly (as modern users understand the word), to belittle someone giving or granting something in a pompous manner.