Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “promise”

See all translations

promise

verb uk   /ˈprɒm.ɪs/ us    /ˈprɑː.mɪs/

promise verb (SAY CERTAINLY)

B1 [I or T] to tell someone that you will certainly do something: [+ to infinitive] He promised faithfully to call me every week. [+ that] The government have promised that they'll reduce taxes. [+ (that)] Promise me (that) you won't tell him. I'll have a look for some while I'm at the shops but I'm not promising anything. Can I have that book back when you've finished because I've promised it (= I have said I will give it) to Sara. [+ two objects] Her parents promised her a new car if she passed her exams. I've promised myself a long bath when I get through all this work. [+ speech] "I'll come round and see you every day," she promised. "I won't do anything dangerous." "You promise?" "I promise." "I won't have time to take you shopping this afternoon." "But you promised!"
More examples

promise verb (BE EXPECTED)

promise to be good, exciting, etc. B2 to be expected to be good, exciting, etc.: It promises to be a really exciting match.

promise

noun uk   /ˈprɒm.ɪs/ us    /ˈprɑː.mɪs/

promise noun (SAY CERTAINLY)

B1 [C] the act of saying that you will certainly do something: I'll tidy my things away tonight - and that's a promise! I'll try to get back in time, but I'm not making any promises.keep/break a promise B2 to do/not do what you said that you would do: If I make a promise, I like to keep it.
More examples

promise noun (EXPECTED)

[U] the idea that someone or something is likely to develop successfully and that people expect this to happen: His English teacher had written on his report that he showed great promise. As a child I was quite a good dancer, but I didn't fulfil my early promise.
(Definition of promise from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of promise?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “promise” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

luck out

to be very lucky

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More