a. A declaration assuring that one will or will not do something; a vow.
b. Something promised.
2. Indication of something favorable to come; expectation: a promise of spring in the air.
3. Indication of future excellence or success: a player of great promise.
v. prom·ised, prom·is·ing, prom·is·es
1. To commit oneself by a promise to do or give; pledge: left but promised to return.
2. To afford a basis for expecting: thunderclouds that promise rain.
1. To make a declaration assuring that something will or will not be done.
2. To afford a basis for expectation: an enterprise that promises well.
[Middle English promis, from Old French promise, from Medieval Latin prōmissa, alteration of Latin prōmissum, from neuter past participle of prōmittere, to send forth, promise : prō-, forth; see PRO-1 + mittere, to send.]
Synonyms: promise, pledge, swear, vow1
These verbs mean to declare solemnly that one will follow a particular course of action: promises to write soon; pledged to uphold the law; swore to get revenge; vowed to fight to the finish.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.