a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one: unkept political promises.
an express assurance on which expectation is to be based: promises that an enemy will not win.
something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected.
indication of future excellence or achievement: a writer who shows promise.
something that is promised.
to engage or undertake by promise (usually used with an infinitive or a clause as object): She promised to go tomorrow.
to make a promise of (some specified act, gift, etc.): to promise help.
to make a promise of something to (a specified person): Promise me that you will come.
to afford ground for expecting: The sky promised a storm.
to engage to join in marriage.
to assure (used in emphatic declarations): I won't go there again, I promise you that!
to afford ground for expectation (often followed by well or fair): His forthcoming novel promises well.
to make a promise.
- prom·is·a·ble, adjective
- prom·ise·ful, adjective
- prom·is·er, noun
- outpromise, verb (used with object), out·prom·ised, out·prom·is·ing.
- o·ver·prom·ise, verb (used with object), o·ver·prom·ised, o·ver·prom·is·ing.
- pre·prom·ise, noun, verb (used with object), pre·prom·ised, pre·prom·is·ing.
- quasi-promised, adjective
- re·prom·ise, verb, re·prom·ised, re·prom·is·ing.
- un·prom·ised, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use promise in a sentence
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.”Why Accenture thinks the ‘Henry Ford moment of the digital era’ is coming | Alan Murray | September 17, 2020 | Fortune
The next thing to understand is that good investors know the promise you are making to them is just that—a promise.‘How I Built This’ host Guy Raz on insights from some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs | Rachel King | September 15, 2020 | Fortune
They were fooled with promises like the Democrats make today.
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.Sacramento Report: 3 Takeaways From a Wild Legislative Session | Sara Libby | September 4, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
With those words was a promise to launch the first group of passengers in the coming year.You Were Wrong About Miley & Bitcoin: 2014’s Failed Predictions | Nina Strochlic | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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.Inside the Smuggling Networks Flooding Europe with Refugees | Barbie Latza Nadeau | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
They opened for acts like Elliott Smith, Sloan, and promise Ring.OK Go Is Helping Redefine the Music Video For the Internet Age | Lauren Schwartzberg | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Christie has a lot riding on fulfilling his promise of shepherding Atlantic City into a third boom era.I Watched a Casino Kill Itself: The Awful Last Nights of Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal | Olivia Nuzzi | December 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He is dead; but his three sons have the estate yet, and I think they would keep their father's promise to the Indians.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
Alford speaks of this as remarkable; but vision is the especial promise of Wisdom, therefore of Solomon, son of David.Solomon and Solomonic Literature | Moncure Daniel Conway
From mere regrets he was passing now, through dismay, into utter repentance of his promise.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
This information was balm to Louis, as it seemed to promise a peaceful termination to so threatening an affair.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
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?Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
British Dictionary definitions for promise
(often foll by to; 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
(tr) to undertake to give (something to someone): he promised me a car for my birthday
(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
(usually passive) to engage to be married; betroth: I'm promised to Bill
(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
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
indication of forthcoming excellence or goodness: a writer showing considerable promise
the thing of which an assurance is given
- promiser, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with promise
see lick and a promise.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.