- In general, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to another, which binds the person who makes it to do, or to forbear to do, a specified act; a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act."For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise." [Gal. iii. 18.]
- [Law] An engagement by one person to another, either in words or in writing, but properly not under seal, for the performance or nonperformance of some particular thing. The word promise is used to denote the mere engagement of a person, without regard to the consideration for it, or the corresponding duty of the party to whom it is made.
- That which causes hope, expectation, or assurance; especially, that which affords expectation of future distinction; as, a youth of great promise ."My native country was full of youthful promise." [W. Irving.]
- Bestowal, fulfillment, or grant of what is promised."He . . . commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father." [Acts i. 4.]
Etymology: F. promesse, L. promissum, fr. promittere promissum, to put forth, foretell, promise; pro forward, for + mittere to send. See Mission.