A pledge is basically very serious formal promise. You can pledge allegiance to your country, you can pledge to keep a secret, and you can pledge a sum of money to a cause.

Pledge can be used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it can be a solemn promise you've made. Or even the person who makes that promise, like the freshman pledges who take an oath to join a fraternity in college. As a verb, it describes the act of promising. “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people,” vowed Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States.

Definitions of pledge
  1. noun
    a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something
    “signed a pledge never to reveal the secret”
    synonyms: assurance
    see moresee less
    show 9 types...
    hide 9 types...
    guarantee, warrant, warrantee, warranty
    a written assurance that some product or service will be provided or will meet certain specifications
    an unconditional commitment that something will happen or that something is true
    plight, troth
    a solemn pledge of fidelity
    a solemn pledge (to oneself or to another or to a deity) to do something or to behave in a certain manner
    security, surety
    a guarantee that an obligation will be met
    a payment given as a guarantee that an obligation will be met
    stock warrant
    a written certificate that gives the holder the right to purchase shares of a stock for a specified price within a specified period of time
    safety net
    a guarantee of professional or financial security
    full faith and credit
    a guarantee to pay interest and principal on debt; usually issued by the United States Treasury
    type of:
    commitment, dedication
    a message that makes a pledge
  2. noun
    someone accepted for membership but not yet fully admitted to the group
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fellow member, member
    one of the persons who compose a social group (especially individuals who have joined and participate in a group organization)
  3. verb
    promise solemnly and formally
    “I pledge that I will honor my wife”
    synonyms: plight
    see moresee less
    show 15 types...
    hide 15 types...
    make a vow; promise
    guarantee, vouch
    give surety or assume responsibility
    enter into a covenant or formal agreement
    enter into a covenant
    commune, communicate
    receive Communion, in the Catholic church
    affiance, betroth, engage, plight
    give to in marriage
    take vows, as in religious order
    promise solemnly; take an oath
    secure the release of (someone) by providing security
    give a guarantee or promise of
    administer Communion; in church
    assure payment of
    administer the rite of confirmation to
    bar mitzvah
    confirm in the bar mitzvah ceremony, of boys in the Jewish faith
    bat mitzvah
    confirm in the bat mitzvah ceremony, of girls in the Jewish faith
    type of:
    assure, promise
    make a promise or commitment
  4. verb
    bind or secure by a pledge
    “I was pledged to silence”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bind, hold, obligate, oblige
    bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted
  5. noun
    a deposit of personal property as security for a debt
    “his saxophone was in pledge
    see moresee less
    an article deposited as security
    type of:
    security interest
    any interest in a property that secures the payment of an obligation
  6. verb
    give as a guarantee
    “I pledge my honor”
    see moresee less
    pledge as a collateral
    offer in good faith
    pledge without delivery or title of possession
    type of:
    charge, consign
    give over to another for care or safekeeping
  7. noun
    a drink in honor of or to the health of a person or event
    synonyms: toast
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a single serving of a beverage
  8. verb
    propose a toast to
    synonyms: drink, salute, toast, wassail
    see moresee less
    type of:
    honor, honour, reward
    bestow honor or rewards upon
  9. verb
    pay (an amount of money) as a contribution to a charity or service, especially at regular intervals
    “I pledged $10 a month to my favorite radio station”
    synonyms: subscribe
    see moresee less
    type of:
    give to a charity or good cause
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week