Legal Dictionary


Definition of promise



promise (plural promises)

  1. An oath or affirmation; a vow.

    If I make a promise, I always stick to it.
    He broke his promise.

  2. A transaction between two persons whereby the first person undertakes in the future to render some service or gift to the second person or devotes something valuable now and here to his use

Further reading

A promise is a commitment by someone to do or not do something.

In the law of contract, an exchange of promises is usually held to be legally enforceable, according to the Latin maxim pacta sunt servanda.


Both an oath and an affirmation can be a promise. One special kind of promise is the vow.

A notable type of promise is an election promise.

In contract law, a promise is a manifestation of intention to act or refrain from acting in a specified way. It is so made as to justify a promisee in understanding that a commitment has been made. The person manifesting the intention is the promiser. The person to whom the manifestation is addressed is the promisee. Where performance of the promise is assumed to benefit a person other than the promisee, that person is a beneficiary. But in contract law, the word promise is commonly used to refer to promises which result in the promiser's word justifying expectations of performance from which a legal duty will arise in term of results. For instance, A orally agrees to sell land to B. This is an offer. B agrees to buy the land and pays $1000 to A. This is an acceptance of the offer. If the land did not legally belong to A, his is a fraud and B is legally expected to recover his $1000 By virtue of this indirect recognition of the duty to convey promise accurately, the agreement is a contract.If the promise is obviously misunderstood, the contract is void. Some say that the contract is a promise for a promise.


My friend promised me she would be there for my birthday.

My friend promised to do as I say.

My stepfather promised not to be cruel to me. -Cinderella

Conditional commitment

In loan guarantees, a commitment requires to meet an equity commitment, as well as other conditions, before the loan guarantee is closed.


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

Translation of promise in Malay



  1. Janji


1.     AORO
2.     Miranda warning
3.     adjudication order
4.     common law
5.     lex patriae
6.     appellant
7.     desponent
8.     stare decisis
9.     tenancy in common
10.     deponent