- 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 for pledge on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pledging
Back home, KGB leadership was pledging loyalty to the secretary general and his planned reforms.How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Radicalized Putin
November 9, 2014
Eleven years earlier, Gates had set the record for biggest gift of all time by pledging $11 billion to the foundation.How Does Zuckerberg’s Ebola Pledge Measure Up To Other Bigwig Donations?
October 14, 2014
StyleHaul is the largest fashion network on YouTube, pledging to make legions of young girls stars.Inside StyleHaul, the Largest Fashion Network on YouTube You’ve Never Heard Of
August 24, 2014
The attorney asked the agent if pledging allegiance to the head of ISIS is a crime.The Mystery of Donald Ray Morgan, the 44-Year-Old American Who Loved ISIS
August 12, 2014
Pledging, also known as initiation, will now be abolished by Sigma Alpha Epsilon nationally across its 240 chapters.Deadly Frat Rituals Are Banned Thanks to Technology
March 10, 2014
He beckoned to the landlord to bring her a glass, and she drank of it, pledging the organist.The Nebuly Coat
John Meade Falkner
Pledging myself to this boy before I know how he will turn out.Free Air
An authority to borrow money, by pledging the keel or bottom of the ship.
To drink cosily; the act of touching glasses in pledging a health.
They always were pledging them to our enemies, as an earnest that we would do what they wanted.Southern Arabia
- 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 pledging
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.