1 verb
1 (I, T) to tell someone that you will definitely do something or that something will happen: promise (that): Hurry up, we promised that we wouldn't be late. | promise sb (that): You promised me the car would be ready on Monday. | I/we promise: “Promise me you won't do anything stupid.” “I promise.” | promise to do sth: The children have promised to give us a hand with the packing. | promise sb sth (=promise to give someone something): The company promised us a bonus this year. | Promise? spoken (=used to ask if someone promises): “I'll be back by 1.00.” “Promise?” “Yes! Don't worry.” | promise sth to sb: I can't give you the book - I've promised it to Ian. | as promised (=at the time or place that is promised): Here you are - one new watch as promised. | I promise you spoken (=I warn you): I promise you, the work won't be easy.
2 (T) to make you expect that something will happen: promise to be: Tonight's meeting promises to be a difficult one | dark clouds promising showers later
3 promise sb the moon/the earth to promise to give someone something that is impossible for you to give
4 I can't promise anything spoken used to tell someone that you will try to do what they want, but may not be able to: I'll try my best, but I can't promise anything.
2 noun
1 (C) a statement that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen: I'll never lie to you again. That's a promise.
(+ of): a promise of help | a promise to do sth: They've given a promise to introduce equal pay for women. (+ that): I kept thinking of my mother's promise that she'd read me the story if I was good. | keep/break a promise (=to do or fail to do something you promised): Don't make promises you can't keep. | You broke your promise to give up smoking.
2 (U) signs that something or someone will be good or successful: a young man full of promise
(+ of): the promise of future profits | show promise (=to be likely to become very good): My son shows great promise as a chess player.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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