com·​mit·​ment | \ kə-ˈmit-mənt How to pronounce commitment (audio) \

Definition of commitment

1a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future a commitment to improve conditions at the prison especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date
b : something pledged the commitment of troops to the war
c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled a commitment to a cause
2a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: such as
(1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution filed a petition for commitment
(2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee
b : mittimus

Examples of commitment in a Sentence

His commitment to both his professions is admirable: currently a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, he also holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. — Erica Wagner, New York Times Book Review, 8 Feb. 2009 In their mission statement, the editors bragged of their firm commitment to equality and social justice, but their philosophy didn't prevent them from summoning Lindsey to perform all their menial tasks. — Kim Wong Keltner, The Dim Sum Of All Things, 2004 … I actually finished writing two more episodes of the tale before other commitments forced me to shelve it. — Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly, 2 Aug. 1991 His commitment to a blue-water navy expressed his determination to project power. — George F. Will, Newsweek, 22 Nov. 1982 We've got commitments from several charities to donate food and clothing. the government's commitment of troops to the region The church has a commitment to helping the poor. The boss noticed her strong commitment to her work. No one doubts your commitment to the cause. See More
Recent Examples on the Web These ads have attacked our candidate’s integrity, character, and questioned her commitment to our city and our children. Jason Williams,, 3 Nov. 2017 San Antonio would need to say goodbye to its 2018 free agents and cut additional salary, reversing course somewhat after its recent commitments to LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. Ben Golliver,, 3 Nov. 2017 But The Times promises to continue its commitment to education. Jane Karr, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2017 Eder, 30, extends his commitment to the Nerazzurri through 2021, after joining in January of 2016 on an 18-month loan deal from Sampdoria. Juan Pimiento,, 2 Nov. 2017 Jaden Johnson, a consensus three-star quarterback prospect from Kirby High School in Memphis, Tennessee, announced his commitment to Louisville via Twitter. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, 1 Nov. 2017 As part of Thursday's announcement, Branson highlighted his ongoing commitment to Western values. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 26 Oct. 2017 Kelly later expressed her commitment to not talking politics on her new NBC show—or even, as Meyers suggested, making scones with Anthony Weiner. Laura Bradley, HWD, 26 Oct. 2017 Their Wild Boar Burger is all about testing your commitment to excess: bacon, boar, pimento cheese, BBQ sauce, and jalapeño. Oset Babur, GQ, 22 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commitment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of commitment

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for commitment

commit + -ment

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Time Traveler for commitment

Time Traveler

The first known use of commitment was in 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near commitment

commit a crime


commitment ceremony

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Statistics for commitment

Cite this Entry

“Commitment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for commitment


com·​mit·​ment | \ kə-ˈmit-mənt How to pronounce commitment (audio) \

Medical Definition of commitment

: a consignment to a penal or mental institution



Legal Definition of commitment

1 : an act of committing: as
a : placement in or assignment to a prison or mental hospital petition for commitment — compare incompetent, interdiction

Note: Commitment to a mental health facility is called civil commitment when it is not part of a criminal proceeding. Civil commitment proceedings are initiated by the patient, in the case of voluntary commitment, or by someone (as a family member or government agent) authorized by statute to petition for the patient's involuntary commitment. Some form of a hearing and periodic review is required in involuntary commitment proceedings. A criminal defendant may be committed to a mental hospital as a result of being found incompetent to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity, or incompetent to be sentenced.

b : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee
c : a warrant committing someone to a prison
2 : an agreement or promise to do something in the future especially : a promise to assume a financial obligation at a future date cannot meet their loan commitments

More from Merriam-Webster on commitment

Nglish: Translation of commitment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commitment for Arabic Speakers


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