KJV Dictionary Definition: promise
PROM'ISE, n. L. promissum, from promitto, to send before or forward; pro and mitto, to send.
1. In a general sense, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to another, which binds the person who makes it, either in honor, conscience or law, to do or forbear a certain act specified; a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made, a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of the act. The promise of a visit to my neighbor, gives him a right to expect it, and I am bound in honor and civility to perform the promise. Of such a promise human laws have no cognizance; but the fulfillment of it is one of the minor moralities, which civility, kindness and strict integrity require to be observed.
2. In law, a declaration, verbal or written, made by one person to another for a good or valuable consideration, in the nature of a covenant, by which the promiser binds himself, and as the case may be, his legal representatives, to do or forbear some act; and gives to the promisee a legal right to demand and enforce a fulfillment.
3. A binding declaration of something to be done or given for another's benefit; as the promise of a grant of land. A promise may be absolute or conditional; lawful or unlawful; express or implied. An absolute promise must be fulfilled at all events. The obligation to fulfill a conditional promise depends on the performance of the condition. An unlawful promise is not binding, because it is void; for it is incompatible with a prior paramount obligation of obedience to the laws. An express promise, is one expressed in words or writing. An implied promise, is one which reason and justice dictate. If I hire a man to perform a day's labor, without any declaration that I will pay him, the law presumes a promise on my part that I will give him a reasonable reward, and will enforce much implied promise.
4. Hopes; expectation, or that which affords expectation of future distinction; as a youth of great promise.
My native country was full of youthful promise.
5. That which is promised; fulfillment or grant of what is promised.
He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father. Acts.1.
6. In Scripture,the promise of God is the declaration or assurance which God has given in his word of bestowing blessings on his people. Such assurance resting on the perfect justice,power, benevolence and immutable veracity of God, cannot fail of performance.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promises. 2 Pet.3.
PROM'ISE, v.t. To make a declaration to another, which binds the promiser in honor, conscience or law, to do or forbear some act; as, to promise a visit to a friend; to promise a cessation of hostilities; to promise the payment of money.
1. To afford reason to expect; as, the year promises a good harvest.
2. To make declaration or give assurance of some benefit to be conferred; to pledge or engage to bestow.
The proprietors promised large tracts of land.
PROM'ISE, v.i. To assure one by a promise or binding declaration. The man promises fair; let us forgive him.
1. To afford hopes or expectations; to give ground to expect good. The youth promises to be an eminent man; the wheat promises to be a good crop; the weather promises to be pleasant.
2. In popular use, this verb sometimes threatens or assures of evil. The rogue shall be punished, I promise you.
Will not the ladies be afraid of the lion?
--I fear it, I promise you.
In the latter example, promise is equivalent to declare; "I declare to you."
3. To promise one's self, to be assured or to have strong confidence.
I dare promise myself you will attest the truth of all I have advanced.
PROM'ISED, pp. Engaged by word or writing; stipulated.
PROM'ISER, n. One who promises; one who engages, assures, stipulates or covenants. Fear, says Dryden, is a great promiser. We may say that hope is a very liberal promiser.
The import of a promise, when disputed, is not to be determined by the sense of the promiser, nor by the expectations of the promisee.
Note. In law language, promisor is used, but without necessity or advantage.
PROM'ISING, ppr. Engaging by words or writing; stipulating; assuring.
1. Affording just expectations of good or reasonable ground of hope; as a promising youth; a promising prospect. In this sense, the word may be a participle or an adjective.