(third-person singular simple present promises, present participle promising, simple past and past participle promised)
- To commit to something or action; to make an oath; make a vow.
- If you promise not to tell anyone, I will let you have this cake for free.
- She promised me it was her first time.
- He promised to never return to this town again.
- She promised me a big kiss if I pick her up for the airport.
- I can't promise success, but I'll do the best I can.
- (intransitive) To give grounds for expectation, especially of something good.
- The clouds promise rain.
From Middle English promis (“promis, promisse"), from Old French promesse, from Medieval Latin promissa, Latin promissum (“a promise"), feminine and neuter of Latin promissus, past participle of promittere (“to send or put forth, let go forward, say beforehand, promise"), from pro (“forth") + mittere (“to send"); see mission. Compare admit, commit, permit, etc. Displaced native Middle English beheste, bihest (“promise, behest") (from Old English behÇ£s (“promise, vow")), Middle English hight (“promise") (from Old English hÄ“ht, past tense of Old English hÄtan (“to promise")), Middle English hat, haut (“promise, vow") (from Old English Ä¡ehÄt (“promise, vow")), Middle English quidde, quid (“saying, promise"). Compare Middle English forhaten, forhauten (“to promise").