pledge

noun
\ ˈplej How to pronounce pledge (audio) \

Definition of pledge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a bailment of a chattel as security for a debt or other obligation without involving transfer of title
b : the chattel so delivered
c : the contract incidental to such a bailment
2a : the state of being held as a security or guaranty
b : something given as security for the performance of an act
3 : a token, sign, or earnest of something else
4 : a gage of battle
6a : a binding promise or agreement to do or forbear
b(1) : a promise to join a fraternity, sorority, or secret society
(2) : a person who has so promised

pledge

verb
pledged; pledging

Definition of pledge (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a pledge of especially : pawn
2 : to drink to the health of
3 : to bind by a pledge
4 : to promise the performance of by a pledge

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pledge

Verb

pledger \ ˈple-​jər How to pronounce pledger (audio) \ or pledgor \ ˈple-​jər How to pronounce pledgor (audio) , ple-​ˈjȯr \ noun

Synonyms for pledge

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of pledge in a Sentence

Noun He has promised to fulfill a campaign pledge to cut taxes. To make a pledge or donation, please call the charity's office. The company has made a pledge of over $3,000. He left his car as a pledge that he would return with the money. Verb Her family pledged $100,000 toward the construction of a new school. He called to pledge money to the charity. Every morning, we pledge allegiance to the flag. teenagers who have pledged not to start smoking During his campaign, he pledged that he would not raise taxes. The chefs are pledged to keep the restaurant's special recipe a secret. He pledged his paintings as collateral for a loan.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Golfers try and play at least 100 holes of golf during a day and receive pledges. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, "Club pro gets ace during ‘golf marathon’ event for First Tee," 7 Nov. 2019 But that pledge isn't instilling much confidence on Wall Street. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Goldman Sachs says US-China tariffs may have peaked," 5 Nov. 2019 The European Union’s goal was to cut carbon pollution in 2030 by 40% compared with 1990 levels, which is greater than America’s pledge, said Rob Jackson, a Stanford University professor and chairman of the Global Carbon Project. Seth Borenstein, The Denver Post, "U.S. tells UN it is pulling out of Paris climate deal," 4 Nov. 2019 But in the end, economic gains and a $7.7 billion GM investment pledge for U.S. factories were too much to turn down. Tom Krisher, Twin Cities, "GM workers ratify contract, ending contentious 40-day strike," 25 Oct. 2019 But outside of conferences where scientists and corporate officers swap sustainability pledges and business cards, tree-planting projects face a tougher reality. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Catchy findings have propelled this young ecologist to fame—and enraged his critics," 24 Oct. 2019 Penalties for violating the pledge include fines and a five-year ban on lobbying. Derek Kravitz, ProPublica, "The Trump Administration Says It Has Violated Its Own Ethics Pledge," 23 Oct. 2019 Supporters of that pledge included Aldermen Ashanti Hamilton, Russell Stamper, Jose Perez, Nik Kovac and Mark Borkowski and Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UWM study finds over half of gun violence perpetrators and victims had elevated blood lead levels as children," 19 Oct. 2019 The pledge includes measuring and publicly reporting greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis, something thousands of other corporations have done for years but that Amazon has declined to do in the past. Wired, "Amazon’s New Climate Pledges Won’t Stop Employee Walkout," 19 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While Democrats want to protect this racket and even up its payoffs, conservatives should be pledging to bust it. Frederick M. Hess, National Review, "Break Up the B.A. Cartel," 7 Nov. 2019 Classic Don America formally notified the UN of its intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement to combat climate change, through which countries have pledged (with varying degrees of sincerity) to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. The Economist, "Politics this week," 7 Nov. 2019 Then, two years ago, a new top banking regulator, Guo Shuqing, pledged to rein in reckless lending by banks and other financial institutions. New York Times, "China Is Trying to Clean Up Its Banks. It’s Messy.," 7 Nov. 2019 In her campaign, Romero pledged to expand affordable housing in the city and put Tucson on the path to be carbon neutral by 2050. NBC News, "Tucson elects first Latina mayor and other historic Election Day wins," 6 Nov. 2019 President Trump pledged to rejuvenate the steel industry during his campaign, which had helped him win votes in the 2016 election in such key states as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Fox News, "Steel industry waits for economic boom despite Trump tariffs," 5 Nov. 2019 Kameron Matthews, Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Community Care, pledged to streamline the referral process for Native veterans into the private sector and look into the issue of copays for that population. Author: Nikki Wentling, Anchorage Daily News, "Native American veterans finally get an audience with Congress," 3 Nov. 2019 Proceeds are pledged to animal welfare organizations. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "Literary calendar: For the week of Nov. 3," 3 Nov. 2019 Candidate Trump pledged to pay off the entire national debt, which would mean running huge budget surpluses. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Democrats and Republicans don’t disagree on everything: Both parties want to spend like there’s no tomorrow," 1 Nov. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of pledge

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pledge

Noun

Middle English plegge security, from Anglo-French plege, from Late Latin plebium, from *plebere to pledge, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German pflegan to take care of — more at plight

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pledge

Statistics for pledge

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for pledge

The first known use of pledge was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pledge

pledge

noun
How to pronounce pledge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pledge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a serious promise or agreement
: a promise to give money
: something that you leave with another person as a way to show that you will keep your promise

pledge

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pledge (Entry 2 of 2)

: to formally promise to give or do (something)
: to cause (someone) to formally promise something
: to give (something) as a way to show that you will keep your promise to someone

pledge

noun
\ ˈplej How to pronounce pledge (audio) \

Kids Definition of pledge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a promise or agreement that must be kept
2 : something handed over to another to ensure that the giver will keep his or her promise or agreement
3 : a promise to give money

pledge

verb
pledged; pledging

Kids Definition of pledge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to promise to give I pledge allegiance.
2 : to cause (someone) to promise something He pledged himself to secrecy.
3 : to give as assurance of a promise (as of repayment of a loan)

pledge

noun
\ ˈplej How to pronounce pledge (audio) \

Legal Definition of pledge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a delivery of especially personal property as security for a debt or other obligation broadly : the perfection of a security interest in collateral through possession of the collateral by a creditor or other promisee
2a : property and especially personal property that is used as security especially upon delivery broadly : a security interest in collateral — compare chattel mortgage at mortgage
b : a contract under which the delivery of property (as personal property) as security takes place
3a : the state of being held as security or guaranty property held in pledge
b : something given as security for the performance of an act
4 : a binding promise to do or forbear
pledged; pledging

Legal Definition of pledge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to deliver or otherwise put forward as security for a debt or other obligation pledged his car as collateral for the loan
2 : to bind by a pledge we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honorDeclaration of Independence
3 : to assure or promise the performance or payment of

Other Words from pledge

pledgor \ ˈple-​jər, ple-​ˈjȯr How to pronounce pledgor (audio) \ or pledger \ ˈple-​jər How to pronounce pledger (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pledge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pledge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pledge

Spanish Central: Translation of pledge

Nglish: Translation of pledge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pledge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pledge

What made you want to look up pledge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!