verb (used with object), pledged, pledg·ing.

verb (used without object), pledged, pledg·ing.

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

1275–1325; Middle English plege < Anglo-French < early Medieval Latin plevium, plebium, derivative of plebīre to pledge < Germanic; compare Old English plēon to risk, German pflegen to look after. See plight2
Related formspledge·a·ble, adjectivepledg·er, nounpledge·less, adjectivein·ter·pledge, verb (used with object), in·ter·pledged, in·ter·pledg·ing.pre·pledge, verb (used with object), pre·pledged, pre·pledg·ing; nounqua·si-pledge, verb, qua·si-pledged, qua·si-pledg··pledge, verb (used with object), re·pledged, re·pledg·ing, nounun·pledged, adjective

Synonyms for pledge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pledger

Historical Examples of pledger

  • Frey, the Summer, god of the fruitful year, the pledger of his sword.

British Dictionary definitions for pledger



a formal or solemn promise or agreement, esp to do or refrain from doing something
  1. collateral for the payment of a debt or the performance of an obligation
  2. 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)
Derived Formspledgable, adjective

Word Origin for pledge

C14: from Old French plege, from Late Latin plebium gage, security, from plebīre to pledge, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German pflegan to look after, care for
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 pledger



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper