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A written or oral declaration given in exchange for something of value that binds the maker to do, or forbear from, a certain specific act and gives to the person to whom the declaration is made the right to expect and enforce performance or forbearance. An undertaking that something will or will not occur. It is a manifestation of intent to act, or refrain from acting, in a certain manner.

In the law of Commercial Paper, an undertaking to pay. It must be more than an acknowledgment of an obligation.

The person who makes the declaration is the promisor. The person to whom the declaration is made is called the promisee.

In contracts, a promise is essential to a binding legal agreement and is given in exchange for consideration, which is the inducement to enter into a promise. A promise is illusory when the promisor does not bind herself to do anything and, therefore, furnishes no consideration for a valid contract.

A promise implied in fact is a tacit promise that can be inferred from expressions or acts of the promisor. A promise implied by law can arise when no express declaration is made, but the party, in Equity and justice, is under a legal duty as if he had in fact actually made a promise.


1) n. a firm agreement to perform an act, refrain from acting, or make a payment or delivery. In contract law, if the parties exchange promises, each promise is "consideration" (a valuable item) for the other promise. Failure to fulfill a promise in a contract is a breach of the contract, for which the other party may sue for performance and/or damages. 2) v. to make a firm agreement to act, refrain from acting, or make a payment or delivery. (See: contract, consideration)


noun affirmation, agreement, asseveration, assurance, avowal, bond, commitment, compact, consent, contract, covenant, declaration, engagement, fides, oath, obligation, pact, paction, pledge, promissum, stipulation, treaty, understanding, vadium, vow, warranty, word
Associated concepts: bilateral promises, consideration, gift, unilateral promise
Foreign phrases: Ea quae, commendandi causa, in vendiiionibus 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 est ubi nulla subest causa praeter connentionem; sed ubi subest causa, fit obligatio, et parit actionem. A naked contract is where there is no considerrtion except the agreement; but where there is a considerrtion, an obligation is created and gives rise to a right of accion. Nuda pactio obligationem non parit. A naked agreement does not effect an otherwise binding obligation. Nuda ratio et nuda pactio non ligant aliquem debitorem. Naked intention and naked promise do not bind any debtor.


(Raise expectations), verb augur well, bid fair, cheer, embolden, encourage, enhearten, exxite expectation, forebode, forecast, foreshadow, foreshow, foretell, forewarn, foster hope, give expectation, give hope, inspirit, lead one to expect, make a prediction, predict, presage, prognosticate, prophesy, quicken, raise hopes, set astir, show signs of, signify, stimulate, suggest, threaten


(Vow), verb accept a liability, accept an obliiation, accept responsibility, adjure, affirm, affirm posiiively, 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, contractan 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, 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, warrant
Associated concepts: breach of promise, nude promise, promise to answer for the debt of another, promise to pay
See also: accountability, agree, allegiance, assurance, assure, bestow, bind, bond, commitment, compact, condition, contract, cosign, covenant, coverage, depose, duty, ensure, expectation, guarantee, guaranty, insurance, oath, obligate, obligation, outlook, pact, pledge, possibility, potential, predict, presage, probability, proffer, prognosis, prognosticate, prospect, recognizance, responsibility, security, stipulate, stipulation, swear, testament, testify, undertake, undertaking, underwrite, vouch, vow, warrant, warranty

PROMISE, contr. An engagement by which the promisor contracts towards another to perform or do something to the advantage of the latter.
     2. When a promise is reduced to the form of a written agreement under seal, it is called a covenant.
     3. In order to be binding on the promisor, the promise must be made upon a sufficient consideration -- when made without consideration, however, it may be binding in foro conscientice, it is not obligatory in law, being nudum pactum. Rutherf. Inst. 85; 18 Eng. C. L. Rep. 180, note a; Merl. Rep. h.t.
     4. When a promise is made, all that is said at the time, in relation to it, must be considered; if, therefore, a man promise to pay all he owes, accompanied by a denial that he owes anything, no action will lie to enforce such a promise. 15 Wend. 187.
     5. And when the promise is conditional, the condition must be performed before it becomes of binding force. 7 John. 36. Vide Condition. Promises are express or implied. Vide Undertaking, and 5 East, 17 2 Leon. 224, 5; 4 B. & A. 595.

References in periodicals archive ?
A friend or associate can counsel us on selecting a promiser or recommend us to trusters.
In cases of marriage settlements, for example, promises may be enforced even in the absence of actual inducement because of the possibility, foreseen by the promiser, that the promisee might change her behavior in reliance on the promise.
On the one hand, the promised girl may not survive while, on the other, the promise itself might not survive either because the promiser dishonours his word or because he dies before transfer of the young woman as bride.
The Company also recently announced the availability of Frontstep Capacity Promiser, which is a Microsoft .
By leveraging common production data to quickly determine and provide capacity-based item availability information, Frontstep Capacity Promiser allows companies to automate the promising of delivery dates that accurately reflect current inventory and capacity.