[ plej ]
See synonyms for: pledgepledged on

  1. a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something: a pledge of aid; a pledge not to wage war.

  2. 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.

  1. the state of being given or held as security: to put a thing in pledge.

  2. Law.

    • the act of delivering goods, property, etc., to another for security.

    • the resulting legal relationship.

  3. something given or regarded as a security.

  4. a person accepted for membership in a club, fraternity, or sorority, but not yet formally approved.

  5. an assurance of support or goodwill conveyed by drinking a person's health; a toast.

  6. Obsolete.

    • a hostage.

    • a person who becomes bail or surety for another.

verb (used with object),pledged, pledg·ing.
  1. to bind by or as if by a pledge: to pledge hearers to secrecy.

  2. to promise solemnly: to pledge one's support.

  1. to give or deposit as a pledge; pawn.

  2. to stake, as one's honor.

  3. to secure by a pledge; give a pledge for.

  4. to accept as a pledge for club, fraternity, or sorority membership.

  5. to drink a health or toast to.

verb (used without object),pledged, pledg·ing.
  1. to make or give a pledge: to pledge for someone.

  2. to drink a pledge; toast someone's health, success, etc.

Idioms about pledge

  1. 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

Other words for pledge

Other words from pledge

  • pledge·a·ble, adjective
  • pledger, noun
  • pledgeless, adjective
  • in·ter·pledge, verb (used with object), in·ter·pledged, in·ter·pledg·ing.
  • pre·pledge, verb (used with object), pre·pledged, pre·pledg·ing; noun
  • quasi-pledge, verb, qua·si-pledged, qua·si-pledg·ing.
  • re·pledge, verb (used with object), re·pledged, re·pledg·ing, noun
  • un·pledged, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for pledge


/ (plɛdʒ) /

  1. 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)

  1. a sign, token, or indication: the gift is a pledge of their sincerity

  2. an assurance of support or goodwill, conveyed by drinking to a person, cause, etc; toast: we drank a pledge to their success

  3. a person who binds himself, as by becoming bail or surety for another

  4. sign the pledge or take the pledge to make a vow to abstain from alcoholic drink

  1. to promise formally or solemnly: he pledged allegiance

  2. (tr) to bind or secure by or as if by a pledge: they were pledged to secrecy

  1. to give, deposit, or offer (one's word, freedom, property, etc) as a guarantee, as for the repayment of a loan

  2. to drink a toast to (a person, cause, etc)

Origin of 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

Derived forms of pledge

  • pledgable, adjective

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