promise

promise vb Promise, engage, pledge, plight, covenant, contract are comparable when they mean to give one's word that one will act in a specified way (as by doing, making, giving, or accepting) in respect to something stipulated.
Promise implies a giving assurance either orally or in writing but it suggests no further grounds for expectation of the fulfillment of what is promised
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he is a man of his word, what he promises he performs

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he promised that he would pay his bill

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promised to do painting, trimming and repairing with all possible expertness— Riker

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promised to reexamine all loyalty cases cleared by the Democrats— Ginzburg

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she has promised herself a trip to Bermuda

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Engage implies a more binding agreement or more definite commitment than promise. Typically it is used in formal or consequential situations, sometimes specifically implying an agreement to marry and sometimes an agreement to accept as an employee. It ordinarily implies a promise regarded as binding and to be relied on and especially one concerning conduct over a period of time
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to Him whose truth and faithfulness engage the waiting soul to bless— Walford

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study material about Gen. Grant, whose biog- raphy he had engaged to prepare— Caffey

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the United States . .. engaged to exclude peddlers from their country— Foreman

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an engaged couple

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Pledge (compare PLEDGE) I, aside from uses in connection with drives and charities
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pledged a dollar a week to the church building fund

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may imply the giving of a promise by some act or words that suggest the giving of a solemn assurance or the provision of a formal guarantee
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pledged their loyalty to their sovereign

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pledge themselves to maintain and uphold the right of the master— Taney

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Austria swarmed with excited and angry men pledged to destroy the Church— Belloc

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Plight implies a solemn promising
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if for America it is too violent a wrench to plight its fate with Europe's, even ... to prevent warPeffer

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and persists chiefly in a few stereotyped phrases such as "plight one's troth."
Covenant implies at least two parties to the promise, each making a solemn agreement with the other
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a man cannot grant anything to his wife, or enter into convenant with her: for . . . to covenant with her, would be only to covenant with himself— Blackstone

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covenanted to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland— Rose Macaulay

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Contract (see also CONTRACT vb 3, INCUR) implies the entry into a solemn and usually legally binding agreement (see CONTRACT n)
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contract for a large loan

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the company has contracted to supply the schools of the state with textbooks

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the good wife realizes that in becoming a wife she contracts to forget self and put her husband's happiness above her own— D. F. Miller

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Analogous words: agree, consent, *assent, accede: assure, Cnsure, insure

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • promise — prom·ise n: a declaration or manifestation esp. in a contract of an intention to act or refrain from acting in a specified way that gives the party to whom it is made a right to expect its fulfillment aleatory promise: a promise (as to compensate …   Law dictionary

  • Promise — Prom ise, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Promised}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Promising}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To engage to do, give, make, or to refrain from doing, giving, or making, or the like; to covenant; to engage; as, to promise a visit; to promise a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Promise — Prom ise, a. [F. promesse, L. promissum, fr. promittere, promissum, to put forth, foretell, promise; pro forward, for + mittere to send. See {Mission}. ] [1913 Webster] 1. In general, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • promise — [n1] one’s word that something will be done affiance, affirmation, agreement, asseveration, assurance, avowal, betrothal, bond, commitment, compact, consent, contract, covenant, earnest, engagement, espousal, guarantee, insurance, marriage, oath …   New thesaurus

  • promise — ► NOUN 1) an assurance that one will do something or that something will happen. 2) potential excellence. ► VERB 1) make a promise. 2) give good grounds for expecting. 3) (promise oneself) firmly intend …   English terms dictionary

  • promise — [präm′is] n. [ME promis < L promissum < promittere, to send before or forward < pro , forth + mittere, to send: see PRO 2 & MISSION] 1. an oral or written agreement to do or not to do something; vow 2. indication, as of a successful… …   English World dictionary

  • Promise — Prom ise, v. i. [1913 Webster] 1. To give assurance by a promise, or binding declaration. [1913 Webster] 2. To afford hopes or expectation; to give ground to expect good; rarely, to give reason to expect evil. [1913 Webster] Will not the ladies… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Promise — steht für: ein Album der englischen Gruppe Sade, siehe Promise (Album) ein Album des US Amerikaners Bruce Springsteen, siehe The Promise einen Fachbegriff aus der Informatik, siehe Future (Programmierung) Diese Seite ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • promise — (n.) c.1400, from L. promissum a promise, noun use of neuter pp. of promittere send forth, foretell, promise, from pro before (see PRO (Cf. pro )) + mittere to put, send (see MISSION (Cf. mission)). Ground sense is declaration made about the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • promise — prom|ise1 W2S2 [ˈprɔmıs US ˈpra: ] v 1.) [I and T] to tell someone that you will definitely do or provide something or that something will happen ▪ Last night the headmaster promised a full investigation. promise to do sth ▪ She s promised to do… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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