What does Promise mean?

Definitions for Promise
ˈprɒm ɪsprom·ise

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Promise.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. promisenoun

    a verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in the future

  2. promise, hopeverb

    grounds for feeling hopeful about the future

    "there is little or no promise that he will recover"

  3. promise, assureverb

    make a promise or commitment

  4. promiseverb

    promise to undertake or give

    "I promise you my best effort"

  5. predict, foretell, prognosticate, call, forebode, anticipate, promiseverb

    make a prediction about; tell in advance

    "Call the outcome of an election"

  6. promiseverb

    give grounds for expectations

    "The new results were promising"; "The results promised fame and glory"


  1. promisenoun

    An oath or affirmation; a vow.

  2. promisenoun

    A transaction between two persons whereby the first person undertakes in the future to render some service or gift to the second person or devotes something valuable now and here to his use.

  3. promiseverb

    to commit to something or action; to make an oath; make a vow.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PROMISEnoun

    Etymology: promissum, Lat. promise, promesse, Fr.

    I eat the air, promise cramm’d; you cannot feed capons so. Sha.

    His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
    But his performance, as he now is, nothing. William Shakespeare.

    O Lord, let thy promise unto David be established. 1 Chron.

    Behold, she said, perform’d in ev’ry part
    My promise made; and Vulcan’s labour’d art. Dryden.

    Let any man consider, how many sorrows he would have escaped, had God called him to his rest, and then say, whether the promise to deliver the just from the evils to come, ought not to be made our daily prayer. William Wake.

    Now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee. Acts.

    Your young prince Mamillius is a gentleman of the greatest promise. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

  2. To Promiseverb

    Etymology: promettre, Fr. promitto, Lat.

    While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption. 2 Peter ii. 18.

    I could not expect such an effect as I found, which seldom reaches to the degree that is promised by the prescribers of any remedies. William Temple, Miscel.

  3. To Promiseverb

    Promising is the very air o’ th’ time; it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act. William Shakespeare.

    I dare promise for this play, that in the roughness of the numbers, which was so designed, you will see somewhat more masterly than any of my former tragedies. Dryden.

    As he promised in the law, he will shortly have mercy, and gather us together. 2 Mac. ii. 18.

    All the pleasure we can take, when we met these promising sparks, is in the disappointment. Henry Felton.

    She brib’d my stay, with more than human charms;
    Nay promis’d, vainly promis’d to bestow
    Immortal life. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Will not the ladies be afraid of the lion?
    —— I fear it, I promise you. William Shakespeare.


  1. Promise

    A promise is a commitment by someone to do or not do something. As a noun promise means a declaration assuring that one will or will not do something. As a verb it means to commit oneself by a promise to do or give. It can also mean a capacity for good, similar to a value that is to be realized in the near future.In the law of contract, an exchange of promises is usually held to be legally enforceable, according to the Latin maxim pacta sunt servanda.


  1. promise

    A promise can be defined as a commitment or assurance made by one party to another, typically stating that a certain action will or will not be taken in the future. It is a declaration of intent to fulfill a specific obligation or to achieve a certain outcome, often involving trust and reliance between the parties involved. Promises are commonly made in various personal, professional, and legal contexts, and are based on the expectation that they will be honored and upheld.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Promiseadjective

    in general, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to another, which binds the person who makes it to do, or to forbear to do, a specified act; a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act

  2. Promiseadjective

    an engagement by one person to another, either in words or in writing, but properly not under seal, for the performance or nonperformance of some particular thing. The word promise is used to denote the mere engagement of a person, without regard to the consideration for it, or the corresponding duty of the party to whom it is made

  3. Promiseadjective

    that which causes hope, expectation, or assurance; especially, that which affords expectation of future distinction; as, a youth of great promise

  4. Promiseadjective

    bestowal, fulfillment, or grant of what is promised

  5. Promiseverb

    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 cessation of hostilities; to promise the payment of money

  6. Promiseverb

    to afford reason to expect; to cause hope or assurance of; as, the clouds promise rain

  7. Promiseverb

    to make declaration of or give assurance of, as some benefit to be conferred; to pledge or engage to bestow; as, the proprietors promised large tracts of land; the city promised a reward

  8. Promiseverb

    to give assurance by a promise, or binding declaration

  9. Promiseverb

    to afford hopes or expectation; to give ground to expect good; rarely, to give reason to expect evil

  10. Etymology: [F. promesse, L. promissum, fr. promittere, promissum, to put forth, foretell, promise; pro forward, for + mittere to send. See Mission. ]


  1. Promise

    A promise is a commitment by someone to do or not do something. As a noun promise means a declaration assuring that one will or will not do something. As a verb it means to commit oneself by a promise to do or give. It can also mean a capacity for good, similar to a value that is to be realized in the near future. In the law of contract, an exchange of promises is usually held to be legally enforceable, according to the Latin maxim pacta sunt servanda.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Promise

    prom′is, n. an engagement made by a person either verbally or in writing to do or keep from doing something: expectation or that which causes expectation: a ground for hope of future excellence: (rare) fulfilment of what is promised.—v.t. to make an engagement to do or not to do something: to afford reason to expect: to assure: to engage to bestow.—v.i. to assure one by a promise: to afford hopes or expectations: (rare) to stand sponsor.—ns. Prom′ise-breach (Shak.), violation of promise; Prom′ise-break′er (Shak.), a violator of promises.—adj. Prom′ise-crammed (Shak.), crammed or filled with promises.—ns. Promisēē′, the person to whom a promise is made; Prom′iser, Prom′isor.—adj. Prom′ising, affording ground for hope or expectation: likely to turn out well.—advs. Prom′isingly; Prom′issorily.—adj. Prom′issory, containing a promise of some engagement to be fulfilled.—n. Prom′issory-note, a note by one person promising to pay a sum of money to another, or to bearer, at a certain date, or at sight, or on demand.—Promised land, the land promised by God to Abraham and his seed: Canaan: heaven.—Be promised (rare), to have an engagement; Breach of promise (see Breach); Conditional promise, a promise of which the obligation depends on certain conditions—opp. to Absolute promise; Express promise, a promise expressed orally or in writing; The Promise, the assurance of God to Abraham that his descendants should become the chosen people. [Fr. promesse—L. promissa, promittĕre, to send forward—pro, forward, mittĕre, to send.]

Editors Contribution

  1. promise

    Agree to do or complete an act.

    They made a promise to marry on a specific date this year which is easily achieved.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 10, 2020  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Promise is ranked #88336 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Promise surname appeared 210 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Promise.

    71.4% or 150 total occurrences were Black.
    20.4% or 43 total occurrences were White.
    3.8% or 8 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.3% or 5 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Promise' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3847

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Promise' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4171

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Promise' in Nouns Frequency: #1255

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Promise' in Verbs Frequency: #321

Anagrams for Promise »

  1. imposer

  2. semipro

How to pronounce Promise?

How to say Promise in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Promise in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Promise in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of Promise in a Sentence

  1. John Kerry, Speech at Democratic Convention, May 31, 2002:

    We must uphold the promise of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton and never allow the President and his Republican friends to threaten Social Security by putting it on the Wall Street trading block.

  2. Teerasak Roopsuwan:

    What we have now is a promise that Doi Suthep forest will be restored, i think this could be a model for other parts of the country that public projects must not only be legal, but they must also consider local people's opinions.

  3. Aaron J. Munzer:

    Its a shame a hollow promise doesn't ring hollow

  4. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko:

    The time has come to fulfill that promise, in turn, I am prepared to hand over to Russia the two Russian servicemen captured on our territory for taking part in armed aggression against Ukraine.

  5. Greg Abbott:

    In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within New York City, i hope Mayor Eric Adams follows through on Mayor Eric Adams promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Promise

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Promise »


Find a translation for the Promise definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"Promise." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Promise>.

Discuss these Promise definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for Promise? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    transmit (a signal) for setting off an appropriate response, as in telecommunication
    A interrogate
    B doom
    C carry
    D disturb

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Promise: