[kuh-mit-muh nt]
See more synonyms for commitment on
  1. the act of committing.
  2. the state of being committed.
  3. the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
  4. a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.
  5. engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.
  6. perpetration or commission, as of a crime.
  7. consignment, as to prison.
  8. confinement to a mental institution or hospital: The psychiatrist recommended commitment.
  9. an order, as by a court or judge, confining a person to a mental institution or hospital.
  10. Law. a written order of a court directing that someone be confined in prison; mittimus.
  11. Parliamentary Procedure. the act of referring or entrusting to a committee for consideration.
  12. Stock Exchange.
    1. an agreement to buy or sell securities.
    2. a sale or purchase of securities.
Also committal (for defs 1, 3–11).

Origin of commitment

First recorded in 1605–15; commit + -ment
Related formsnon·com·mit·ment, nounpre·com·mit·ment, adjectiveself-com·mit·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for commitments

Contemporary Examples of commitments

Historical Examples of commitments

British Dictionary definitions for commitments


  1. the act of committing or pledging
  2. the state of being committed or pledged
  3. an obligation, promise, etc that restricts one's freedom of action
  4. the referral of a bill to a committee or legislature
  5. Also called (esp formerly): mittimus law a written order of a court directing that a person be imprisoned
  6. the official consignment of a person to a mental hospital or prison
  7. commission or perpetration, esp of a crime
  8. a future financial obligation or contingent liability
Also called (esp for senses 5, 6): committal (kəˈmɪtəl)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for commitments



1610s, "action of officially consigning to the custody of the state," from commit + -ment. (Anglo-French had commettement.) Meaning "the committing of oneself, pledge, promise" is attested from 1793; hence, "an obligation, an engagement" (1864).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper