1

promise

play
noun prom·ise \ ˈprä-məs \

Definition of promise

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 :reason to expect something
  • little promise of relief
; especially :ground for expectation of success, improvement, or excellence
  • shows considerable promise
3 :something that is promised

Examples of promise in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of promise from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology 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


2

promise

verb

Definition of promise

promised; promising
transitive verb
1 :to pledge to do, bring about, or provide
  • promise aid
2 archaic :warrant, assure
3 chiefly dialectal :betroth
4 :to suggest beforehand :give promise of
  • dark clouds promise rain
intransitive verb
1 :to make a promise
2 :to give ground for expectation :be imminent

promisee

play \ˌprä-mə-ˈsē\ noun

promisor

play \-ˈsȯr\ or less commonly promiser play \ˈprä-mə-sər\ noun

Examples of promise in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of promise from the Web

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

First Known Use of promise

15th century

promise Synonyms



PROMISE Defined for English Language Learners

promise

play
noun

Definition of promise for English Language Learners

  • : 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


promise

verb

Definition of promise for English Language Learners

  • : 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)


PROMISE Defined for Kids

1

promise

play
noun prom·ise \ ˈprä-məs \

Definition of promise for Students

1 :a statement by a person that he or she will do or not do something
  • I made a promise to pay within a month.
2 :a cause or ground for hope
  • These plans give promise of success.

2

promise

verb

Definition of promise for Students

promised; promising
1 :to state that something will or will not be done
  • I promise to clean my room this afternoon.
2 :to give reason to expect
  • Dark clouds promise rain.

Law Dictionary

promise

noun prom·ise

legal Definition of promise

:a declaration or manifestation especially in a contract of an intention to act or refrain from acting in a specified way that gives the party to whom it is made a right to expect its fulfillment
aleatory promise
:a promise (as to compensate an insured individual for future loss) whose fulfillment is dependent on a fortuitous or uncertain event
collateral promise
:a promise usually to pay the debt of another that is ancillary to an original promise, is not made for the benefit of the party making it, and must be in writing to be enforceable
false promise
:a promise that is made with no intention of carrying it out and especially with intent to deceive or defraud
gratuitous promise
:a promise that is made without consideration and is usually unenforceable called also naked promise; compare nudum pactum
Note: A gratuitous promise may be enforceable under promissory estoppel.
illusory promise
:a purported promise that does not actually bind the party making it to a particular performance
  • an illusory promise depending solely on the will of the supposed promisor
implied promise
:a promise that is considered to exist despite the lack of an agreement or express terms to that effect and the breach of which may be recognized as a cause of action
  • claimed a breach of an implied promise that he would not be terminated at will
— see also promise implied in fact and promise implied in law in this entry
naked promise
:gratuitous promise in this entry
original promise
:a promise (as in a suretyship) usually to pay the debt of another that is made primarily for the benefit of the party making it and need not be in writing to be enforceable — compare collateral promise in this entry, main purpose rule
promise implied in fact
:an implied promise that exists by inference from specific facts, circumstances, or acts of the parties
promise implied in law
:an implied promise that exists on the basis of a legally enforceable duty and not on the basis of words or conduct which are promissory in form or support an inference of a promise
  • a promise implied in law that one will be compensated for services rendered and accepted


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