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 ?
REPORT ON BREACH OF PROMISE OF MARRIAGE 25 (1983); MANITOBA LAW REFORM COMM'N, REPORT ON BREACH OF PROMISE TO MARRY 23-24 (1984).
But now one of the Victorian courtrooms is being brought back to life to try a very important case - breach of promise of marriage (who said pre-nups were new?
Miss Hilda Draper, manageress of a large boot store in Wolverhampton, sued Mr Robert Jones Llewellyn, a bandsman in the 21st Lancers, for damages in a breach of promise of marriage.