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noun prom·ise \ˈprä-məs\

Simple Definition of promise

  • : a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future

  • : an indication of future success or improvement

  • : a reason to expect that something will happen in the future

Full Definition of promise

  1. 1 a :  a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified b :  a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act

  2. 2 :  reason to expect something <little promise of relief>; especially :  ground for expectation of success, improvement, or excellence <shows considerable promise>

  3. 3 :  something that is promised

Examples of promise

  1. She gave me her promise.

  2. She never made a promise that she didn't intend to keep.

  3. There is little promise of relief in the forecast.

  4. They were attracted by the promise of success.

  5. a sunny morning that gives every promise of a fine day

  6. There is a promise of better days ahead.

Origin of promise

Middle English promis, from Latin promissum, from neuter of promissus, past participle of promittere to send forth, promise, from pro- forth + mittere to send

First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with promise



verb prom·ise

Simple Definition of promise

  • : to tell someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future

  • : to make (something) seem likely : to show signs of (something that is likely or expected to happen)

Full Definition of promise


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to pledge to do, bring about, or provide <promise aid>

  3. 2 archaic :  warrant, assure

  4. 3 chiefly dialect :  betroth

  5. 4 :  to suggest beforehand :  give promise of <dark clouds promise rain>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to make a promise

  8. 2 :  to give ground for expectation :  be imminent

prom·is·ee play \ˌprä-mə-ˈsē\ noun
prom·i·sor play \-ˈsȯr\ also prom·is·er play \ˈprä-mə-sər\ noun

Examples of promise

  1. Promise me that you won't tell anyone.

  2. I can't promise you that I'll be able to go, but I'll do my best.

  3. The governor promised that the prisoners would receive a fair trial.

  4. She promised to announce the results tomorrow.

  5. International organizations have promised aid.

  6. I promise to be careful.

  7. You always promise, but you never do what you say you will.

  8. I won't tell anyone. Promise? Yes, I promise.

  9. Those gray skies promise rain.

15th Century

First Known Use of promise

15th century

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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