—n. 1. a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one: unkept political promises. 2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based: promises that an enemy will not win. 3. something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected.
4. indication of future excellence or achievement: a writer who shows promise. 5. something that is promised.
—v.t. 1. to engage or undertake by promise (usually used with an infinitive or a clause as object): She promised to go tomorrow. 2. to make a promise of (some specified act, gift, etc.): to promise help. 3. to make a promise of something to (a specified person): Promise me that you will come. 4. to afford ground for expecting: The sky promised a storm. 5. to engage to join in marriage.
6. to assure (used in emphatic declarations): I won't go there again, I promise you that!
—v.i. 1. to afford ground for expectation (often fol. by well or fair): His forthcoming novel promises well. 2. to make a promise.