WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
pledge /plɛdʒ/USA pronunciation   n., v., pledged, pledg•ing. 

n. [countable]
  • a solemn promise to do or stop doing something:a pledge of economic aid to the newly independent countries.
  • something left behind as security or proof that one will pay a debt or keep a promise.
  • something given or thought of as a token, as of friendship or love:Take this ring as a pledge of my love.
  • a person accepted for membership in a club, but not yet formally initiated.

  • v. 
  • [+ object + to + object] to bind (someone) by or as if by a pledge or promise:pledged everyone to secrecy.
  • to promise solemnly: [+ object]to pledge support.[+ to + verb + object]She pledged to support him in the upcoming election.[+ that clause]He pledged that he would never betray the trust of the American people.
  • idiom
    1. Idiomstake the pledge, to make a vow not to drink alcoholic beverages.

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    pledge  (plej), 
    n., v., pledged, pledg•ing. 

  • a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something:a pledge of aid; a pledge not to wage war.
  • something delivered as security for the payment of a debt or fulfillment of a promise, and subject to forfeiture on failure to pay or fulfill the promise.
  • the state of being given or held as security:to put a thing in pledge.
  • [Law.]
    • the act of delivering goods, property, etc., to another for security.
    • the resulting legal relationship.
  • something given or regarded as a security.
  • a person accepted for membership in a club, fraternity, or sorority, but not yet formally approved.
  • an assurance of support or goodwill conveyed by drinking a person's health; a toast.
  • [Obs.]
    • a hostage.
    • a person who becomes bail or surety for another.
  • Idiomstake the pledge, to make a solemn, formal vow to abstain from intoxicating drink.

  • v.t. 
  • to bind by or as if by a pledge:to pledge hearers to secrecy.
  • to promise solemnly:to pledge one's support.
  • to give or deposit as a pledge; pawn.
  • to stake, as one's honor.
  • to secure by a pledge;
    give a pledge for.
  • to accept as a pledge for club, fraternity, or sorority membership.
  • to drink a health or toast to.

  • v.i. 
  • to make or give a pledge:to pledge for someone.
  • to drink a pledge;
    toast someone's health, success, etc.
  • Etymology:
    • Gmc; compare Old English plēon to risk, German pflegen to look after. See plight2
    • early Medieval Latin plevium, plebium, derivative of plebīre to pledge
    • Anglo-French
    • Middle English plege 1275–1325
    pledgea•ble, adj. 
    pledger, n. 
    pledgeless, adj. 
    2 . warranty, surety, guaranty.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    pledge /plɛdʒ/ n
    1. a formal or solemn promise or agreement, esp to do or refrain from doing something
    2. collateral for the payment of a debt or the performance of an obligation
    3. the condition of being collateral (esp in the phrase in pledge)
    4. a sign, token, or indication: the gift is a pledge of their sincerity
    5. an assurance of support or goodwill, conveyed by drinking to a person, cause, etc; toast: we drank a pledge to their success
    6. a person who binds himself, as by becoming bail or surety for another
    7. sign the pledge, take the pledgeto make a vow to abstain from alcoholic drink
    1. to promise formally or solemnly
    2. (transitive) to bind or secure by or as if by a pledge: they were pledged to secrecy
    3. to give, deposit, or offer (one's word, freedom, property, etc) as a guarantee, as for the repayment of a loan
    4. to drink a toast to (a person, cause, etc)
    Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French plege, from Late Latin plebium gage, security, from plebīre to pledge, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German pflegan to look after, care for

    ˈpledgable adj

    'pledge' also found in these entries:

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