- 1A declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen: what happened to all those firm promises of support? [with infinitive]: I did not keep my promise to go home earlyMore example sentences
- We have been hearing the same promises and assurances for more than 10 years now.
- It has failed to receive firm guarantees or promises from either side.
- All the promises, all the assurances, were broken.
- 1.1 [in singular] An indication that something is likely to occur: dawn came with the promise of fine weatherMore example sentences
- Every indication points to the promise of continued improvements in the cost and performance of storage, depending on the technology involved.
- Day three started with the promise of very fine weather but we were met with a delivery of a sudden shower as we followed a narrow dirt trail.
- For children like these, the promise of peace in Angola may come too late.
- 2 [mass noun] The quality of potential excellence: he showed great promise even as a junior officerMore example sentences
- In a statement to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, quoted by Reuters, Pardew described the country as a nation of great promise and potential.
- Of course, the flip side of such promise is the potential for humiliation.
- Narratives of progress and development are rooted deeply in the potential and promise of the West's best ideals and traditions.
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- 1 [reporting verb] Assure someone that one will definitely do something or that something will happen: [with infinitive]: he promised to forward my mail [with clause]: she made him promise that he wouldn’t do it again [with direct speech]: ‘I’ll bring it straight back,’ she promised [with two objects]: he promised her the jobMore example sentences
- The reduction in my expenses in a certain way was something that I definitely promised to do if I got this money.
- I definitely don't promise to stop hoping that you'll bury the hatchet already.
- An inspector arrived later and promised to have the job done last Friday.
- 2 [with object] Give good grounds for expecting (a particular occurrence): forthcoming concerts promise a feast of music [with infinitive]: it promised to be a night that all would rememberMore example sentences
indicate, give an/every indication of, lead one to expect, give good grounds for expecting, point to, denote, signify, be a sign of, be evidence of, show signs of, hint at, suggest, give hope of, hold out hopes of, bespeak, presage, be a presage of, augur, herald, bode, foreshadow, portend• rare harbinger
- Even more than the transfer of power at the top of the party, this change promises fundamental transformation of the political order itself.
- This play promises a surprise finale that will shock not only the audience, but the actors as well.
- The crackdown is not aimed at organised firework shows and tonight promises a feast of spectacular events.
- 2.1Announce (something) as being expected to happen: forecasters were promising a record snowfall in Boston [with two objects]: we’re promised more winter weather tonightMore example sentences
- Forecasters were promising a record snowfall in Boston, Massachusetts, and up to a metre of snow on the Cape Cod peninsula, southeast of Boston.
- He recently went on record to promise a frank report from the 12-year inquiry into collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries.
- It's gone now, but the weather promises future freezing.
- 2.2 (promise oneself) Contemplate the pleasant expectation of: he tidied up the sitting room, promising himself an early nightMore example sentences
- You seem not quite ready yet, but promise yourself to expect something interesting in the future.
- Have you been promising yourself that you will take up something new to get you out during the summer, but then somehow you always manage to end up in the pub?
- This might be the moment to get that new phone number you've been promising yourself, and then neglect to pass on the details to me.
I promise (or I promise you)
- • informal Used for emphasis, especially so as to reassure, encourage, or threaten someone: oh, I’m not joking, I promise youMore example sentences
- If you want to threaten me, I promise you that no member of your local will work here for the next 60 years.
- No, I promise it's not the makings of a classical joke, as my postman can testify.
- No, there will be no risk of me getting in the way, I promise you.
on a promise
- • informal Confidently assured of something, especially of having sexual intercourse: a shop where Tom and I are on a promise with the girls serving thereMore example sentences
- My husband thought he was on a promise on his first date with me.
promise (someone) the earth (or moon)
- Make extravagant promises to someone that are unlikely to be fulfilled: interactive technology titillates, promises the earth but delivers nothingMore example sentences
- With only a few days remaining there will be higher temptations by many people to lie by promising them the moon.
- While some parties are talking about Muslim rights, others are promising them the moon.
- At the same time he was promising me the moon, he was making plans to see her!
- • informal Used to indicate that the speaker is sceptical about someone’s stated intention to do something.More example sentences
- When it's there I will say thank you very much but I have got to the stage where it just seems like promises, promises.
- More example sentences
- He was a whiner as a government critic and a reckless promiser; in 1954, without consulting colleagues, he suddenly promised to abolish the means test on age pensions.
- The Internet mavens who you say promised access to everything must have been latecomers and certainly were not the first promisers.
- Similarly, if a promise to do an act is an attempt to make an audience believe that the promiser will do the act, then to break a promise is for a promiser to make false a belief that the promiser created.
late Middle English: from Latin promissum 'something promised', neuter past participle of promittere 'put forth, promise', from pro- 'forward' + mittere 'send'.