prom·ise / ˈpräməs/ • n. a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that guarantees that a particular thing will happen: what happened to all those firm promises of support? | he took my fax number with the promise that he would send me a drawing | I did not keep my promise to go home early. ∎ the quality of potential excellence: he showed great promise even as a junior officer. ∎ [in sing.] an indication that something specified is expected or likely to occur: the promise of peace.• v. 1. assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen: he promised to forward my mail | she made him promise that he wouldn't do it again | [with direct speech] “I'll bring it right back,” she promised | he promised her the job. ∎ [tr.] (usu. be promised) archaic pledge (someone, esp. a woman) to marry someone else; betroth: I've been promised to him for years.2. [tr.] give good grounds for expecting (a particular occurrence or situation): forthcoming concerts promise a feast of music from around the world | it promised to be a night that all present would long remember. ∎ (of a person, publication, institution, etc.) announce (something) as being expected to happen: China yesterday promised a record grain harvest | we're promised more winter weather tonight. ∎ (promise oneself) contemplate the pleasant expectation of: he tidied up the room, promising himself an early night.PHRASES: I promise (or I promise you) inf. used for emphasis, esp. so as to reassure, encourage, or threaten someone: oh, I'm not joking, I promise you.promise (someone) the earth (or moon) make extravagant promises to someone that are unlikely to be fulfilled: interactive technology titillates, promises the earth, but delivers nothing.promises, promises inf. used to indicate that the speaker is skeptical about someone's stated intention to do something.DERIVATIVES: prom·is·er n.
the Promised Land in the Bible, the land of Canaan, as promised by God to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 12:7. In extended usage, the Promised Land is often used with the implication that it remains just out of reach.
promises, like pie-crust, are made to be broken proverbial saying, late 17th century. A similar idea was expressed by General de Gaulle in a speech at the Elysée Palace, 2 July 1963, ‘Treaties…are like girls and roses: they last while they last.’
See also breach of promise.
A written or oral declaration given in exchange for something of value that binds the maker to do, or forbear from, a certain specific act and gives to the person to whom the declaration is made the right to expect and enforce performance or forbearance. An undertaking that something will or will not occur. It is a manifestation of intent to act, or refrain from acting, in a certain manner.
In the law ofcommercial paper, an undertaking to pay. It must be more than an acknowledgment of an obligation.
The person who makes the declaration is the promisor. The person to whom the declaration is made is called the promisee.
In contracts, a promise is essential to a binding legal agreement and is given in exchange for consideration, which is the inducement to enter into a promise. A promise is illusory when the promisor does not bind herself to do anything and, therefore, furnishes no consideration for a valid contract.
A promise implied in fact is a tacit promise that can be inferred from expressions or acts of the promisor. A promise implied by law can arise when no express declaration is made, but the party, in equity and justice, is under a legal duty as if he had in fact actually made a promise.
Hence vb. XV. So promissory XVII. — medL. prōmissōrius.