from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A situation, especially a bad or unfortunate one. See Synonyms at predicament.
  • transitive v. To promise or bind by a solemn pledge, especially to betroth.
  • transitive v. To give or pledge (one's word or oath, for example).
  • n. A solemn pledge, as of faith.
  • idiom plight (one's) troth To become engaged to marry.
  • idiom plight (one's) troth To give one's solemn oath.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Responsibility for ensuing consequences; risk; danger; peril.
  • n. An instance of danger or peril; a dangerous moment or situation.
  • n. That which is exposed to risk; that which is plighted or pledged; security; a gage; a pledge.
  • v. To expose to risk; to pledge.
  • v. Specifically, to pledge (one's troth etc.) as part of a marriage ceremony.
  • v. To promise (oneself) to someone, or to do something.
  • v. To weave; to braid; to fold; to plait.
  • n. A network; a plait; a fold; rarely a garment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. & p. p. of plight, to pledge.
  • imp. & p. p. of pluck.
  • n. A network; a plait; a fold; rarely a garment.
  • n. That which is exposed to risk; that which is plighted or pledged; security; a gage; a pledge.
  • n. Condition; state; -- risk, or exposure to danger, often being implied.
  • transitive v. To weave; to braid; to fold; to plait.
  • transitive v. To pledge; to give as a pledge for the performance of some act; as, to plight faith, honor, word; -- never applied to property or goods.
  • transitive v. To promise; to engage; to betroth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To engage by solemn promise; pledge; engage or bind one's self by pledging: as, to plight one's hand, word, honor, faith, truth, vows, etc.
  • Synonyms Pledge, Plight. Pledge is applied to property as well as to word, faith, truth, honor, etc. Plight is now chiefly poetic or rhetorical; to plight honor is, as it were, to deposit it in pledge for the performance of an act—not often for the truth of a statement—to be forfeited if the act is not performed.
  • To weave; plait; fold. See plait.
  • To combine or put together in one's mind.
  • n. Peril; danger; harm; damage.
  • n. A solemn promise or engagement concerning a matter of serious personal moment; solemn assurance or pledge.
  • n. Condition; position; state; situation; predicament.
  • n. In particular— A bad condition or state; a distressed or distressing condition or predicament; misfortune.
  • n. A good condition or state.
  • n. A fold; a plait.
  • n. An obsolete preterit and past participle of pluck.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. promise solemnly and formally
  • n. a solemn pledge of fidelity
  • v. give to in marriage
  • n. a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one


Middle English, alteration (influenced by plight, risky promise or pledge) of plit, fold, wrinkle, situation, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin plicitum, neuter past participle of plicāre, to fold.
Middle English plighten, from Old English plihtan, to endanger, put at risk, from pliht, danger, risk.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English plight ("risk, danger"), from Old English pliht ("peril, risk, danger, damage, plight"), from Proto-Germanic *plihtiz (“care, responsibility, duty”). A suffixed form of the root represented by Old English pleoh ("risk, danger, hurt, peril"; also "responsibility") and plēon ("to endanger, risk"). Akin to Old English plihtan ("to endanger, compromise"). Cognate with Dutch plicht, Low German plicht ("duty"), German Pflicht ("duty"). More at pledge. (Wiktionary)
Middle English plit ("fold, wrinkle, bad situation"), conflation of Middle English pliht, plight ("risky promise, peril") (from Old English pliht "danger, risk") and Anglo-Norman plit, plyte ("fold, condition"), from Old French pleit ("condition, manner of folding") (from Vulgar Latin *plictum, from Latin plicitum ("fold")). (Wiktionary)
Through Old French from Latin plectare. German flechten ("to plait") and Danish flette are probably unrelated. (Wiktionary)



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