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
Together, the teams are working 24 hours a day for a product that promises much higher risk than it does profit.
Instead of lights and gifts, this one is filled with broken promises and guilt.
Essentially, we are being left in a position where we are expected to just take agency promises at face value.
Rising up from scooping bay, the steep topography—hemmed by hills of evergreens—promises panoramas at practically every turn.
We have been at war for a long time and the fight promises to continue well into the future.
It is not quite so level nor so perfectly cultivated as central Belgium, but is generally fertile and promises fairly.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
You have borrowed, as these accounts will show, thousands of pounds, and paid them back with promises and words.
The promises of Bellamy and Planner were as far from fulfilment as ever; their performance as vigorous and disastrous as at first.
This, however, would probably be more than counterbalanced by the magnificent returns which this locality promises to afford.Asbestos | Robert H. Jones
On occasions of Covenanting, God has actually made promises, and sworn to men.The Ordinance of Covenanting | John Cunningham
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.