American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A solemn binding promise to do, give, or refrain from doing something: signed a pledge never to reveal the secret; a pledge of money to a charity.
- n. Something given or held as security to guarantee payment of a debt or fulfillment of an obligation.
- n. The condition of something thus given or held: put an article in pledge.
- n. Law Delivery of goods or personal property as security for a debt or obligation: a loan requiring a pledge of property.
- n. Law The contract by which such delivery is made.
- n. A token or sign: "fair pledges of a fruitful tree” ( Robert Herrick).
- n. A person who has been accepted for membership in a fraternity or similar organization and has promised to join but has not yet been initiated.
- n. The act of drinking in honor of someone; a toast.
- n. A vow to abstain from alcoholic liquor: ex-drinkers who have taken the pledge.
- v. To offer or guarantee by a solemn binding promise: pledge loyalty to a nation. See Synonyms at devote, promise.
- v. To bind or secure by or as if by a pledge: pledged themselves to the cause.
- v. To deposit as security; pawn.
- v. To promise to join (a fraternity or similar organization).
- v. To accept as a prospective member of such an organization.
- v. To drink a toast to.
- v. To make a solemn binding promise; swear.
- v. To drink a toast.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In law: A person who goes surety or gives bail for another; especially, a surety whom early English law required of a plaintiff on bringing an action. After a time “John Doe” and “Richard Roe” did duty as such pledges.
- n. A bailment of personal property as a security for some debt or engagement. Story, J. It differs from a chattel mortgage in three essential characteristics: it may be constituted without any contract in writing, merely by delivery of the thing pledged; it requires a delivery of the thing pledged, and is continued only so long as the possession remains with the creditor; it does not generally pass the title to the thing pledged, but gives only a lien to the creditor, and the debtor retains the general property, lint, as regards choses in action, the distinction that a mortgage is a transfer of the title, while a pledge is a mere lien without a transfer of title, does not always hold good; for in most cases a pledge of choses in action can be made effectual only by a transfer of the legal title. (See
mortgage.) A pledge of a chose in action is now more commonly termed collateral security, or collateral
- n. Anything given or considered as security for the performance of an act; a guaranty. Thus, a man gives his word or makes a promise to another, which is received as a pledge for fulfilment; a candidate for parliamentary honors gives promises or pledges, to support certain measures; the mutual affection of husband and wife is a pledge for the faithful performance of the marriage covenant; mutual interest is the best pledge for the performance of treaties.
- n. Figuratively, a child; offspring.
- n. A surety; a hostage.
- n. A formal obligation whereby one voluntarily binds himself to abstain from the use of intoxicating drink.
- n. A token or sign of favor, agreement, etc.
- n. An expression of good will, or a promise of friendship and support, conveyed by drinking together; hence, in a more general sense, the act of drinking together; the drinking of a health.
- To give as a pledge or pawn; deposit in pawn; deposit or leave in possession of a person as security. See pledge, n.
- To give or formally and solemnly offer as a guaranty or security.
- To bind to something by a pledge, promise, or engagement; engage solemnly: as, to pledge one's self.
- To guarantee the performance of by or as by a pledge.
- To give assurance of friendship to, or promise friendship to, by or in the act of drinking; hence, to drink a health to or with. [The use of the word in this sense is said to have arisen from the fact that, in the rude and lawless society of former times, the person who called upon another to drink virtually pledged himself that the other would not be attacked while drinking or poisoned by the liquor.]
- To assure solemnly or in a binding manner; guarantee.
- = Syn. 1-3. To pawn, hypothecate. See plight, verb
- v. To make a solemn promise (to do something).
- v. To deposit something as a security; to pawn.
- v. transitive To give assurance of friendship by the act of drinking; to drink to one's health.
- n. A solemn promise to do something.
- n. A person who has taken a pledge of allegiance to a college fraternity, but not yet formally approved.
- n. A security to guarantee payment of a debt.
- n. A drinking toast.
- n. : A promise to abstain from drinking alcohol.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Law) The transfer of possession of personal property from a debtor to a creditor as security for a debt or engagement; also, the contract created between the debtor and creditor by a thing being so delivered or deposited, forming a species of bailment; also, that which is so delivered or deposited; something put in pawn.
- n. (Old Eng. Law) A person who undertook, or became responsible, for another; a bail; a surety; a hostage.
- n. A hypothecation without transfer of possession.
- n. Anything given or considered as a security for the performance of an act; a guarantee.
- n. A promise or agreement by which one binds one's self to do, or to refrain from doing, something; especially, a solemn promise in writing to refrain from using intoxicating liquors or the like
- n. A sentiment to which assent is given by drinking one's health; a toast; a health.
- v. To deposit, as a chattel, in pledge or pawn; to leave in possession of another as security.
- v. To give or pass as a security; to guarantee; to engage; to plight.
- v. obsolete To secure performance of, as by a pledge.
- v. To bind or engage by promise or declaration; to engage solemnly.
- v. To invite another to drink, by drinking of the cup first, and then handing it to him, as a pledge of good will; hence, to drink the health of; to toast.
- n. a deposit of personal property as security for a debt
- n. a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something
- v. bind or secure by a pledge
- v. give as a guarantee
- n. someone accepted for membership but not yet fully admitted to the group
- n. a drink in honor of or to the health of a person or event
- v. promise solemnly and formally
- v. propose a toast to
- v. pay (an amount of money) as a contribution to a charity or service, especially at regular intervals
- From Middle English plege, from Anglo-Norman plege, from Old French plege (Modern French pleige) from Medieval Latin plevium, plebium, from Medieval Latin plebire "to pledge", from Frankish *plegan ("to pledge, support, guarantee"), from Proto-Germanic *plegō (“responsibility, habit”), from Proto-Indo-European *dlegh-. Akin to Old High German pflegan ("to take care of, be accustomed to"), Old Saxon plegan ("to vouch for"), Old English plēon ("to risk, endanger"). More at plight. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French plege, probably from Late Latin plevium, a security, of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“What's a pledge defined without using the word pledge recursivel y?”
“Finally, Goosby says the pledge is a way of showing what he calls “continued U.S. leadership to the ultimate measure of success – increasing the number of lives saved.””
“But living well with diabetes is a long-term process, not a short term pledge of perfection.”
“Whether Republicans can follow through on their pledge is another question.”
“This would be a great idea were it not for the fact that the person behind this pledge is the Green candidate who tried to disrupt a visit from the Leader of the Lib Dems to Norwich at the last general election.”
“Mr Cameron's decision to drop the pledge is aimed at being able to avoid the "tax bombshell" he says would follow plans for big borrowing rises.”
“In other words, McCain's taking a one term pledge and Palin would be his successor in '12?”
“Nope, he is predicting a one term pledge, which I bet he announces tonight as well.”
“Ok, why would a one term pledge terrify the electorate?”
“And, in particular, what John McCain said today is that Barack Obama needs to stand by what he called a pledge that he made to take public financing for the general election.”
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