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

n 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

n grounds for feeling hopeful about the future

“there is little or no promise that he will recover”
an illusory hope
Type of:
expectation, outlook, prospect
belief about (or mental picture of) the future

v make a promise or commitment

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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

v promise to undertake or give

“I promise you my best effort”
Type of:
state emphatically and authoritatively

v give grounds for expectations

“The new results were promising
“The results promised fame and glory”
Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v make a prediction about; tell in advance

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
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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