Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “promise”

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!"

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.

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

light at the end of the tunnel

signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

spoonula noun

October 13, 2014
a cooking implement that is a combination of a spoon and a spatula Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook on low-medium, scraping and folding the mixture with a silicone spoonula (I love this one).

Read More