- the act of delivering goods, property, etc., to another for security.
- the resulting legal relationship.
- a hostage.
- a person who becomes bail or surety for another.
verb (used with object), pledged, pledg·ing.
verb (used without object), pledged, pledg·ing.
- pledge of allegiance,
- pledged delegate,
Origin of pledge
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.
I pledge to conduct a full and fair investigation and to give the grand jury all of the information necessary to do its job.
And with new leadership in Washington we will stand together and pledge to listen to the American people.
Voters fill out their name, address, phone number and sign a pledge that they will “commit to vote.”
Four years later, more than 125 billionaires took the pledge, including Zuckerberg.How Does Zuckerberg’s Ebola Pledge Measure Up To Other Bigwig Donations?|Nina Strochlic|October 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Send to Harold mildly, and gently remind him of oath and of relics—of treaty and pledge.Harold, Complete|Edward Bulwer-Lytton
On seeking re-election in York, he declined to give any pledge on the burning question of the Clergy Reserves and was defeated.
No; he breaks this one treasure in two, that both the poor things may have a silver token of love and a pledge of his return.Love Me Little, Love Me Long|Charles Reade
The Mary-Anne societies are not strong enough for the situation—too local; he listens to them, but he has given no pledge.Lothair|Benjamin Disraeli
I have had to pledge the last pearl of the chaplet, but I knew that Meg would redeem it.'Stray Pearls|Charlotte M. Yonge
- collateral for the payment of a debt or the performance of an obligation
- the condition of being collateral (esp in the phrase in pledge)
Word Origin 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.