View synonyms for promise


[ prom-is ]


  1. a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one:

    unkept political promises.

  2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based:

    promises that an enemy will not win.

    Synonyms: pledge, word

  3. something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected.
  4. indication of future excellence or achievement:

    a writer who shows promise.

  5. something that is promised.

verb (used with object)

, prom·ised, prom·is·ing.
  1. to engage or undertake by promise (usually used with an infinitive or a clause as object):

    She promised to go tomorrow.

    Synonyms: agree, covenant, pledge

  2. to make a promise of (some specified act, gift, etc.):

    to promise help.

  3. to make a promise of something to (a specified person):

    Promise me that you will come.

  4. to afford ground for expecting:

    The sky promised a storm.

  5. to engage to join in marriage.
  6. to assure (used in emphatic declarations):

    I won't go there again, I promise you that!

verb (used without object)

, prom·ised, prom·is·ing.
  1. to afford ground for expectation (often followed by well or fair ):

    His forthcoming novel promises well.

  2. to make a promise.


/ ˈprɒmɪs /


  1. often foll byto; 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 future

    I promise that I will come

  2. tr to undertake to give (something to someone)

    he promised me a car for my birthday

  3. 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

  4. usually passive to engage to be married; betroth

    I'm promised to Bill

  5. 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


  1. 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
  2. indication of forthcoming excellence or goodness

    a writer showing considerable promise

  3. the thing of which an assurance is given

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Derived Forms

  • ˈpromiser, noun

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Other Words From

  • promis·a·ble adjective
  • promise·ful adjective
  • promis·er noun
  • outpromise verb (used with object) outpromised outpromising
  • over·promise verb (used with object) overpromised overpromising
  • pre·promise noun verb (used with object) prepromised prepromising
  • quasi-promised adjective
  • re·promise verb repromised repromising
  • un·promised adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of promise1

First recorded in 1375–1425; (noun) late Middle English promis(se), from Medieval Latin prōmissa, from Latin prōmissum, noun use of neuter past participle of prōmittere “to promise,” literally, “to send forth,” equivalent to prō- pro- 1 + mittere “to send”; (verb) late Middle English promisen, derivative of the noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of promise1

C14: from Latin prōmissum a promise, from prōmittere to send forth

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Idioms and Phrases

see lick and a promise .

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Example Sentences

Sweet reminded me that when we talked in January, she had said the 2020s would be the “decade of delivery on the promise of technology.”

From Fortune

The next thing to understand is that good investors know the promise you are making to them is just that—a promise.

From Fortune

They were fooled with promises like the Democrats make today.

From Ozy

That was the promise of FitrWoman, an app I downloaded on my phone last fall.

To help deliver on her promise, Atkins carried SB 1120 herself – one of the few measures she signed her name to this year.

With those words was a promise to launch the first group of passengers in the coming year.

Their authors promise that your spirit will be improved, your ambition honed, and your finances maximized by their advice.

He said the brokers promise that the Italian navy will pick them up, which he says has actually driven the prices down.

They opened for acts like Elliott Smith, Sloan, and Promise Ring.

Christie has a lot riding on fulfilling his promise of shepherding Atlantic City into a third boom era.

He is dead; but his three sons have the estate yet, and I think they would keep their father's promise to the Indians.

Alford speaks of this as remarkable; but vision is the especial promise of Wisdom, therefore of Solomon, son of David.

From mere regrets he was passing now, through dismay, into utter repentance of his promise.

This information was balm to Louis, as it seemed to promise a peaceful termination to so threatening an affair.

Were they to be driven out,—driven out this very day, when the Virgin had only just now seemed to promise her help and protection?


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




promiscuousPromised Land