- a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one: unkept political promises.
- an express assurance on which expectation is to be based: promises that an enemy will not win.
- something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected.
- indication of future excellence or achievement: a writer who shows promise.
- something that is promised.
- to engage or undertake by promise (usually used with an infinitive or a clause as object): She promised to go tomorrow.
- to make a promise of (some specified act, gift, etc.): to promise help.
- to make a promise of something to (a specified person): Promise me that you will come.
- to afford ground for expecting: The sky promised a storm.
- to engage to join in marriage.
- to assure (used in emphatic declarations): I won't go there again, I promise you that!
- to afford ground for expectation (often followed by well or fair): His forthcoming novel promises well.
- to make a promise.
Origin of promise
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for promise
With those words was a promise to launch the first group of passengers in the coming year.You Were Wrong About Miley & Bitcoin: 2014’s Failed Predictions
December 31, 2014
They opened for acts like Elliott Smith, Sloan, and Promise Ring.OK Go Is Helping Redefine the Music Video For the Internet Age
December 15, 2014
Christie has a lot riding on fulfilling his promise of shepherding Atlantic City into a third boom era.I Watched a Casino Kill Itself: The Awful Last Nights of Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal
December 8, 2014
In fact, November's results show parents want to continue with implementation of high standards and the results they promise.Why Voters Love Common Core
Harold Ford Jr.
November 28, 2014
Apparently, tech world is no longer enthralled by the promise that was Obama.Earth to DNC: Dyspeptic Dad Still Votes, Too
November 11, 2014
I promise you I shall not, Mr. Bines; they can row if they like.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Hester Paine, as a young lady, fulfills the promise of her girlhood.Brave and Bold
Knife, however, must promise to leave his land to his son-in-law in case he died.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
She was trying to extort a promise that she should appear in its pages, which, as we all remember, she did.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
According to my promise, I saw the minister on the following day.
- (often foll by to; when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to give an assurance of (something to someone); undertake (to do something) in the futureI promise that I will come
- (tr) to undertake to give (something to someone)he promised me a car for my birthday
- (when tr, takes an infinitive) to cause one to expect that in the future one is likely (to be or do something)she promises to be a fine soprano
- (usually passive) to engage to be married; betrothI'm promised to Bill
- (tr) to assure (someone) of the authenticity or inevitability of something (often in the parenthetic phrase I promise you, used to emphasize a statement)there'll be trouble, I promise you
- an undertaking or assurance given by one person to another agreeing or guaranteeing to do or give something, or not to do or give something, in the future
- indication of forthcoming excellence or goodnessa writer showing considerable promise
- the thing of which an assurance is given
Word Origin and History for promise
c.1400, "a pledge, vow," from Old French promesse "promise, guarantee, assurance" (13c.) and directly from Latin promissum "a promise," noun use of neuter past participle of promittere "send forth; let go; foretell; assure beforehand, promise," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + mittere "to put, send" (see mission). The ground sense is "declaration made about the future, about some act to be done or not done."
Idioms and Phrases with promise
see lick and a promise.