Legal Dictionary


Definition of commit


    From Latin committere ("to bring together, join, compare, commit (a wrong), incur, give in charge, etc.") < com ("together") + mittere ("to send"). See mission.


to commit (third-person singular simple present commits, present participle committing, simple past and past participle committed)

  1. To give in trust; to put into charge or keeping; to intrust; to consign; -- used with to, unto.

    Commit thy way unto the Lord. Psalms xxxvii. 5.
    Bid him farewell, commit him to the grave. -Shakespeare

  2. To put in charge of a jailor; to imprison.

    These two were committed. -Clarendon

  3. To do; to perpetrate, as a crime, sin, or fault.

    Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exodus xx. 14.

  4. To join a contest; to match; -- followed by with.
  5. To pledge or bind; to compromise, expose, or endanger by some decisive act or preliminary step; -- often used reflexively; as, to commit one's self to a certain course.

    You might have satisfied every duty of political friendship, without commiting the honor of your sovereign. -Junius
    Any sudden assent to the proposal ... might possibly be considered as committing the faith of the United States. -Marshall

  6. (obsolete) To confound.

    Committing short and long [quantities]. -Milton

  7. (intransitive), (obsolete) To sin; especially, to be incontinent.

    Commit not with man's sworn spouse. -Shakespeare

Usage notes

To commit, intrust, consign. These words have in common the idea of transferring from one's self to the care and custody of another. Commit is the widest term, and may express only the general idea of delivering into the charge of another; as, to commit a lawsuit to the care of an attorney; or it may have the special sense of intrusting with or without limitations, as to a superior power, or to a careful servant, or of consigning, as to writing or paper, to the flames, or to prison. To intrust denotes the act of committing to the exercise of confidence or trust; as, to intrust a friend with the care of a child, or with a secret. To consign is a more formal act, and regards the thing transferred as placed chiefly or wholly out of one's immediate control; as, to consign a pupil to the charge of his instructor; to consign goods to an agent for sale; to consign a work to the press.

Derived terms

  • commit suicide

Related terms

  • commitment
  • committal
  • noncommittal


commit (plural commits)

  1. (computing) The act of committing (e.g. a database transaction or source code into a source control repository), making it a permanent change.

    * 1988, Klaus R Dittrich, Advances in Object-Oriented Database Systems: 2nd International Workshop
    To support locking and process synchronization independently of transaction commits, the server provides semaphore objects...

    * 2009, Jon Loeliger, Version Control with Git
    Every Git commit represents a single, atomic changeset with respect to the previous state.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     lex fori
2.     landed property
3.     lex situs
4.     respondent
5.     default judgment
6.     tort law
7.     living will
8.     lex causae
9.     law
10.     salacious