breach of promise

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breach of promise

n. historically the dumping of a female fiancee by her intended husband after he had proposed marriage and she had accepted. She was entitled to file a suit for damages for the embarrassment of the broken engagement. Such lawsuits were gradually outlawed in various states and no longer exist. (See: breach)

See: dishonor, disloyalty, infidelity, infraction, nonpayment, nonperformance

breach of promise

(formerly) failure to carry out one's promise to marry. In Scots law and other civilian jurisdictions, breach of a unilateral promise maybe actionable, absent consideration or estoppel.
References in periodicals archive ?
15/1 (West 1997)) ("[The breach-of-promise suit] has been used as an instrument for blackmail by unscrupulous persons for their unjust enrichment, due to the indefiniteness of the damages recoverable in such actions .