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 pledge on Wikipedia


From Middle English plege, from Anglo-Norman plege, from Old French plege (Modern French pleige) from Medieval Latin plevium, plebium, from plebiō (I pledge), from Frankish *plegan (to pledge; to support; to guarantee), from Proto-Germanic *plehaną (to care about, be concerned with). Akin to Old High German pflegan (to take care of, be accustomed to), Old Saxon plegan (to vouch for), Old English plēon (to risk, endanger). More at plight.


  • IPA(key): /plɛdʒ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛdʒ


pledge (third-person singular simple present pledges, present participle pledging, simple past and past participle pledged)

  1. To make a solemn promise (to do something).
  2. To deposit something as a security; to pawn.
  3. (transitive) To give assurance of friendship by the act of drinking; to drink to one's health.
    • 1773, Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer
      HARDCASTLE [Taking the cup.] I hope you'll find it to your mind. I have prepared it with my own hands, and I believe you'll own the ingredients are tolerable. Will you be so good as to pledge me, sir? Here, Mr. Marlow, here is to our better acquaintance. [Drinks.]
    • 1852, Matthew Arnold, Tristram and Iseult
      Reach me my golden cup that stands by thee,
      And pledge me in it first for courtesy.



pledge (plural pledges)

  1. A solemn promise to do something.
    1. (with the) A promise to abstain from drinking alcohol.
  2. A security to guarantee payment of a debt.
    1. Something given by a person who is borrowing money etc to the person he has borrowed it from, to be kept until the money etc is returned.
  3. A person who has taken a pledge of allegiance to a college fraternity, but is not yet formally approved.
  4. A drinking toast.


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