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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Promise

Meaning of Promise

The expression of an intention to do or forbear from some act, made by one person to another. where such a promise is made by deed, same is called a covenant . It necessarily involves an engagement or assurance as to the future. In law, a representation or an expression of intention that creates no engagement or legal obligation , is not a true promise.

Promise Alternative Definition

An engagement by which the promisor contracts towards another for the performance of some act. 1 Denio (N. Y.) 226. “We are in the habit of considering as the essential feature of contract a promise by one party to another, or by two parties to one another, to do or forbear from doing certain acts. We are further in the habit of using the word ‘promise’ to signify a binding promise, as opposed to the offer of a promise, or, to use the cumbrous terminology of Austin, a pollicitation. * * * There are then three stages necessary to the making of that sort of agreement which results in contract: There must be an offer, there must be an acceptance of the offer resulting in a promise, and the . law must attach a binding force to the promise, so as to invest it with the character of an obligation.” Anson, Cont. 4.

Synonyms of Promise

(Raise expectations), verb

  • augur well
  • betoken
  • bid fair
  • cheer
  • embolden
  • encourage
  • enhearten
  • excite expectation
  • forebode
  • forecast
  • foreshadow
  • foreshow
  • foretell
  • forewarn
  • foster hope
  • give expectation
  • give hope
  • inspirit
  • lead one to expect
  • make a prediction
  • portend
  • predict
  • presage
  • prognosticate
  • prophesy
  • quicken
  • raise hopes
  • set astir
  • show signs of
  • signify
  • stimulate
  • suggest
  • threaten

(Vow), verb

  • accept a liability
  • accept an obligation
  • accept responsibility
  • adjure
  • affirm
  • affirm positively
  • agree
  • assert
  • assert an oath
  • assert positively
  • assert solemnly
  • assert under oath
  • asseverate
  • assure
  • attest
  • aver
  • avouch
  • avow
  • be answerable for
  • bear witness
  • become bound
  • bind
  • bind by a pledge
  • bind oneself
  • bind oneself by oath
  • certify
  • commit oneself
  • consent
  • contract
  • contract an obligation
  • covenant
  • declare
  • engage
  • engage in solemn manner
  • give assurance
  • give one’s honor
  • give one’s word
  • give one’s word of honor
  • give security
  • guarantee
  • hypothecate
  • incur a duty
  • insure
  • make a solemn resolution
  • make an avowal
  • make an engagement
  • make an oath
  • make oneself answerable
  • obligate oneself
  • pledge
  • pledge one’s credit
  • pledge one’s honor
  • pledge one’s word
  • pledge oneself
  • plight
  • plight one’s honor
  • plight one’s word
  • polliceri
  • stake one’s credit
  • stipulate
  • swear
  • swear an oath
  • take a vow
  • take an oath
  • take upon oneself
  • testify
  • undertake
  • underwrite
  • vouch
  • vow
  • nude promise
  • promise to answer for the debt of another
  • promise to pay


  • affirmation
  • agreement
  • asseveration
  • assurance
  • avowal
  • bond
  • commitment
  • compact
  • consent
  • contract
  • covenant
  • declaration
  • engagement
  • jides
  • guarantee
  • oath
  • obligation
  • pact
  • paction
  • pledge
  • promissum
  • stipulation
  • treaty
  • understanding
  • vadium
  • vow
  • warranty
  • word
  • Associated Concepts: bilateral promises
  • consideration
  • contract
  • gift
  • unilateral promise foreign phrases: Ea quae
  • commendandi causa
  • in venditionibus dicuntur
  • si palam appareant
  • venditorem non obligant
  • Those things which are said as praise of the things sold
  • if they are openly apparent do not bind the seller
  • Nudum pactum estubi nulla subest causa praeter conventionem; sed ubi subest causa
  • fit obligatio
  • etparit actionem
  • A naked contract is where there is no consideration except the agreement ; but where there is a consideration
  • an obligation is created and gives ris e to a right of action
  • Nudapactio obligationem nonparit
  • A naKed agreement does not effect an otherwise binding obligation
  • Nuda ratio et nudapactio non ligant aliquem debitorem
  • Naked intention and naked promise do not bind any debtor

Related Entries of Promise in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Promise in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Promise in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Promise in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Promise in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Acceptance, Affiance, Affirmation, Bilateral Contract, , Borrow, Bribery, Cashier’s Check, Collateral Promise, Contemplation, Covenant, Detriment, Entire Contract, Frustration, Guarantee, Garranty, Guaranty, Money Had And Received, Naked, , , Obligation, Offer, Promissee, Promissor, Promissory Estoppel, Promissory Note, Security, Security Deposit, Settlement, Sponsor, Subscription, Third Party Beneficiary.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Promise in the Dictionary Promise in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Promise
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Promise in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Promise is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Promise (more about URIs)

Promise in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of promise.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading




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