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

gage, guarantee, guaranty, pawn, security

Synonyms: Verb

commit, engage, mortgage, troth

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

China, despite its pledges, is moving to consume the city and squelch protests. Kristina Olney, National Review, "America Must Prevent Another Tiananmen Square and Stand for a Free Hong Kong," 12 Aug. 2019 The absence of any downtown or North Side locations reflects Lightfoot's campaign pledge to direct economic developments to economically struggling areas of the city. Meghan Kelly, chicagotribune.com, "Where will Chicago's first casino land? Here's how the 5 proposed sites compare.," 9 Aug. 2019 The move will finally fulfill Mr. Trump’s campaign pledge to designate China a currency manipulator. New York Times, "China’s Currency Moves Escalate Trade War, Rattling Markets," 5 Aug. 2019 Frustrated by Democrats from fulfilling a campaign pledge to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, Donald Trump is getting his way regardless. Antony Sguazzin, Fortune, "Donald Trump Gets His Wall at Last—but It’s in Zimbabwe," 3 Aug. 2019 The Conservative loss follows Johnson's pledge to take Britain out of the European Union by October 31 without a deal if necessary, and will likely be seized on by pro-European lawmakers as apparent proof that voters do not back his hardline stance. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Boris Johnson's Conservative Party suffers UK by-election defeat," 2 Aug. 2019 These attacks on information technology are offered here as a bit of context for Mayor Eric Johnson's campaign pledge to make data a centerpiece of his administration. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "Data is shaping the future of Dallas, but be careful what you wish for," 1 Aug. 2019 Peacock is the second offensive line pledge in the class, joining versatile prospect Cooper Darling. oregonlive.com, "Samuel Peacock, 3-star offensive tackle, commits to Oregon State Beavers," 29 July 2019 James Wilsdon, a science policy expert at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, wonders how these aspirations will fare when competing with pledges Johnson has made for schools, police, and hospitals. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hardline Brexit stance stokes fears for scientists," 29 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Denver’s mayor, Michael Hancock, pledged to abide by the Paris Climate Accord and is implementing the 80×50 Climate Action Plan. Kendra Black, The Denver Post, "Kendra Black: Inexplicable exceptions, a closed door process and no goal — let’s table the Denver “pollution tax”," 16 Aug. 2019 Others pledged to canvass and to put the results into a database called the BERN app. The Economist, "Bernie Sanders’s permanent revolution," 15 Aug. 2019 At the time of the trade, the Magic pledged to bring Fultz along slowly and not rush his return. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic maintain patience as Markelle Fultz continues to work toward return," 15 Aug. 2019 Through years of legal battles and protests, Native Hawaiians and their supporters pledged to stop the telescope project at all cost. Los Angeles Times, "A battle for the heavens on Mauna Kea: Native Hawaiians protest plans for a massive telescope," 15 Aug. 2019 In its cleanup of the tainted former Hunters Point shipyard, the Navy pledged to use the strictest standards and scrub the site of contamination. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: SF legislator photo or booking mugshot?," 14 Aug. 2019 At the time that Hupp’s plea deal was announced in June, Lincoln County prosecuting attorney Mike Wood pledged to take a new look at Betsy Faria’s murder. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "'Monster' Gets Life in Prison for Murder Staged to Frame Man Who Suspected Her in His Wife's Killing," 13 Aug. 2019 As consumers grow concerned about plastic pollution, big companies are pledging to reduce packaging waste. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Coca-Cola will sell Dasani in aluminum cans and bottles," 13 Aug. 2019 Last year, Auburn University pledged over 1,400 women and the University of Alabama saw almost 2,000 women rush for bids. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "It’s sorority bid season - Is it worth it?," 12 Aug. 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

Dictionary Entries near pledge

plectron

Plectropomus

plectrum

pledge

pledgee

pledget

Plegadis

Statistics for pledge

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pledge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

a haphazard or makeshift solution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!