- a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something: a pledge of aid; a pledge not to wage war.
- something delivered as security for the payment of a debt or fulfillment of a promise, and subject to forfeiture on failure to pay or fulfill the promise.
- the state of being given or held as security: to put a thing in pledge.
- the act of delivering goods, property, etc., to another for security.
- the resulting legal relationship.
- something given or regarded as a security.
- a person accepted for membership in a club, fraternity, or sorority, but not yet formally approved.
- an assurance of support or goodwill conveyed by drinking a person's health; a toast.
- a hostage.
- a person who becomes bail or surety for another.
- to bind by or as if by a pledge: to pledge hearers to secrecy.
- to promise solemnly: to pledge one's support.
- to give or deposit as a pledge; pawn.
- to stake, as one's honor.
- to secure by a pledge; give a pledge for.
- to accept as a pledge for club, fraternity, or sorority membership.
- to drink a health or toast to.
- to make or give a pledge: to pledge for someone.
- to drink a pledge; toast someone's health, success, etc.
- take the pledge, to make a solemn, formal vow to abstain from intoxicating drink.
Origin of pledge
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pledge
“It is our Islamic obligation to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State and give it our Islamic fealty,” he said.ISIS Targets Afghanistan Just as the U.S. Quits
Sami Yousafzai, Christopher Dickey
December 19, 2014
I pledge to conduct a full and fair investigation and to give the grand jury all of the information necessary to do its job.New York's Next Killer-Cop Grand Jury
December 6, 2014
And with new leadership in Washington we will stand together and pledge to listen to the American people.In Texas, Cruz, Perry Crow Over GOP Rout
November 5, 2014
Voters fill out their name, address, phone number and sign a pledge that they will “commit to vote.”The Democrats’ Simple Midterm Weapon
November 4, 2014
The video is accompanied by a photograph of a young black girl wrapped tightly in Kevlar, and a pledge card asking people to vote.Can Ferguson Swing the Election?
October 26, 2014
Our pledge was not merely to do a patchwork job with secondhand materials.
To that effort I pledge all my strength and every power of my office.
Our pledge to these principles is constant, because we believe in their rightness.
Come, my daughter, shake hands with this gentleman, and pledge him your troth.The Imaginary Invalid
To pledge herself to him as wife was impossible; she could not do it; she would not.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
- a formal or solemn promise or agreement, esp to do or refrain from doing something
- collateral for the payment of a debt or the performance of an obligation
- the condition of being collateral (esp in the phrase in pledge)
- a sign, token, or indicationthe gift is a pledge of their sincerity
- an assurance of support or goodwill, conveyed by drinking to a person, cause, etc; toastwe drank a pledge to their success
- a person who binds himself, as by becoming bail or surety for another
- sign the pledge or take the pledge to make a vow to abstain from alcoholic drink
- to promise formally or solemnlyhe pledged allegiance
- (tr) to bind or secure by or as if by a pledgethey were pledged to secrecy
- to give, deposit, or offer (one's word, freedom, property, etc) as a guarantee, as for the repayment of a loan
- to drink a toast to (a person, cause, etc)
Word Origin and History for pledge
mid-14c., "surety, bail," from Old French plege (Modern French pleige) "hostage, security, bail," probably from Frankish *plegan "to guarantee," from *pleg-, a West Germanic root meaning "have responsibility for" (cf. Old Saxon plegan "vouch for," Middle Dutch plien "to answer for, guarantee," Old High German pflegan "to care for, be accustomed to," Old English pleon "to risk the loss of, expose to danger;" see plight (v.)).
Meaning "allegiance vow attested by drinking with another" is from 1630s. Sense of "solemn promise" first recorded 1814, though this notion is from 16c. in the verb. Weekley notes the "curious contradiction" in pledge (v.) "to toast with a drink" (1540s) and pledge (n.) "the vow to abstain from drinking" (1833). Meaning "student who has agreed to join a fraternity or sorority" dates from 1901.
c.1400, "to promise" (something to someone), "to give over as security for repayment," also "promise faith to," from pledge (n.) and from Old French plegier, from plege (n.). From mid-15c. as "to stand surety for, be responsible for;" late 15c. as "to mortgage." Meaning "put (someone) under oath" is from 1570s; sense of "to solemnly promise or guarantee" is from 1590s, as is sense "to drink a toast." Related: Pledged; pledging.