A promise is an agreement to do or not do something. Also, when you have potential, you show promise.

If your parents say you can go for ice cream and then it doesn't happen, you'll probably say, "But you promised!" People promise small things, like to visit someone, and big things, like marriage: “Til death do us part” is a promise many people make on their wedding day. Another meaning is to make a prediction, as in, "You'll regret this, I promise!” Also, if you show promise playing the violin, maybe someday you'll play in an orchestra.

Definitions of promise
  1. noun
    a verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in the future
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    a solemn promise, usually invoking a divine witness, regarding your future acts or behavior
    parole, word, word of honor
    a promise
    betrothal, engagement, troth
    a mutual promise to marry
    a mutual promise of a couple not to date anyone else; on college campuses it was once signaled by the giving of a fraternity pin
    rain check
    a promise that an unaccepted offer will be renewed in the future
    an oath of allegiance to an emir
    the giving of a ring as a token of engagement
    type of:
    commitment, dedication
    a message that makes a pledge
    speech act
    the use of language to perform some act
  2. noun
    grounds for feeling hopeful about the future
    “there is little or no promise that he will recover”
    synonyms: hope
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    an illusory hope
    type of:
    expectation, outlook, prospect
    belief about (or mental picture of) the future
  3. verb
    make a promise or commitment
    synonyms: assure
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    pledge, plight
    promise solemnly and formally
    swear off
    promise to abstain from
    contract, undertake
    enter into a contractual arrangement
    guarantee, undertake
    promise to do or accomplish
    make a vow; promise
    make an oral contract or agreement in the verbal form of question and answer that is necessary to give it legal force
    be engaged by a written agreement
    subvent, subvention, underwrite
    guarantee financial support of
    guarantee, vouch
    give surety or assume responsibility
    condition, qualify, specify, stipulate
    specify as a condition or requirement in a contract or agreement; make an express demand or provision in an agreement
    enter into a covenant or formal agreement
    lease, rent
    let for money
    charter, hire, lease, rent
    hold under a lease or rental agreement; of goods and services
    enter into a covenant
    type of:
    state emphatically and authoritatively
  4. verb
    promise to undertake or give
    “I promise you my best effort”
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    type of:
    state emphatically and authoritatively
  5. verb
    give grounds for expectations
    “The new results were promising
    “The results promised fame and glory”
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    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  6. verb
    make a prediction about; tell in advance
    synonyms: anticipate, call, forebode, foretell, predict, prognosticate
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    interpret the significance of, as of palms, tea leaves, intestines, the sky; also of human behavior
    outguess, second-guess
    attempt to anticipate or predict
    predict from an omen
    bet, wager
    maintain with or as if with a bet
    calculate, forecast, project
    predict in advance
    prophesy, vaticinate
    predict or reveal through, or as if through, divine inspiration
    divine by gazing into crystals
    foretell through or as if through the power of prophecy
    enlighten, irradiate
    give spiritual insight to; in religion
    type of:
    guess, hazard, pretend, venture
    put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation
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