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Commit vs. Promise: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 7, 2023
Commit means to pledge or bind oneself to an action, while promise refers to assuring someone that one will do, give, or arrange something.

Key Differences

Commit refers to the act of pledging, binding, or engaging oneself to a specific course of action or cause. When someone commits, they're often taking on an obligation or responsibility. For instance, when one commits to a task, they are taking on the responsibility of ensuring its completion.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
Promise, on the other hand, is about giving someone your word or assurance. It is more about stating an intention than the action itself. A promise gives someone the confidence or hope that a particular thing will happen in the future. For example, promising to call someone means expressing the intent to make the call.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
Another difference is the weight and formality often attached to each term. Commit can carry a more formal or serious tone, especially when used in legal or formal contexts. For instance, committing to a contract implies legal responsibilities and consequences for not fulfilling such obligations.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
Conversely, while a promise can also be binding, especially morally or socially, it's generally perceived as less formal. Promises are often more personal and can be made in casual settings. However, it's essential to note that breaking a promise can have significant social and emotional consequences.
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

Pledge or bind oneself to an action
Assure someone of a future action or outcome
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
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Nature

Often formal or serious
Generally perceived as less formal
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Context

Legal, professional, personal
Mostly personal, can be professional
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Implies

Obligation and responsibility
Intention and assurance
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

Consequence of Breach

Legal, professional repercussions
Social, emotional repercussions
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Commit and Promise Definitions

Commit

Pledge to do something.
She committed to finishing the project on time.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
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Promise

Assure someone about a future action.
I promise to return the book tomorrow.
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

Commit

Carry out an act, usually a crime.
The suspect committed the crime last night.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 05, 2023

Promise

Indicate a probable occurrence.
The dark clouds promise rain.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Commit

Place in a secure environment.
He was committed to a rehabilitation center.
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Promise

A declaration assuring that one will or will not do something.
She made a promise never to lie again.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

Commit

To do, perform, or perpetrate
Commit a murder.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

A declaration assuring that one will or will not do something; a vow.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To put in trust or charge; entrust
Commit oneself to the care of a doctor.
Commit responsibilities to an assistant.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Something promised.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To consign for future use or for preservation
We must commit the necessary funds for the project.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Indication of something favorable to come; expectation
A promise of spring in the air.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To place officially in confinement or custody, as in a mental health facility.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Indication of future excellence or success
A player of great promise.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To put into a place to be disposed of or kept safe
Committed the manuscript to the flames.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To commit oneself by a promise to do or give; pledge
Left but promised to return.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To make known the views of (oneself) on an issue
I never commit myself on such issues.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To afford a basis for expecting
Thunderclouds that promise rain.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To bind, obligate, or devote, as by a pledge
They were committed to follow orders. She committed herself to her art.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To make a declaration assuring that something will or will not be done.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To refer (a legislative bill, for example) to a committee.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To afford a basis for expectation
An enterprise that promises well.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To pledge, obligate, or devote one's own self
Felt that he was too young to commit fully to marriage.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

(countable) an oath or affirmation; a vow
If I make a promise, I always stick to it;
He broke his promise
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

(transitive) To give in trust; to put into charge or keeping; to entrust; to consign; used with to or formerly unto.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

(countable) 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.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

(transitive) To imprison: to forcibly place in a jail.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

(uncountable) Reason to expect improvement or success; potential.
She shows great promise as an actress.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

(transitive) To forcibly evaluate and treat in a medical facility, particularly for presumed mental illness.
Tony should be committed to a nuthouse!
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

A placeholder object representing the eventual result of an asynchronous operation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

(transitive) To do (something bad); to perpetrate, as a crime, sin, or fault.
To commit murder
To commit a series of heinous crimes
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Bestowal or fulfillment of what is promised
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

(ambitransitive) To pledge or bind; to compromise, expose, or endanger by some decisive act or preliminary step. Traditionally used only reflexively but now also without oneself etc.
To commit oneself to a certain action
To commit to a relationship
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

(ambitransitive) To commit to (some action or outcome), or to assure (a person) of such commitment; to make an oath or vow.
If you promise not to tell anyone, I will let you have this cake for free.
She promised to never return to this town again.
He promised me a big kiss if I would drive him to the airport.
I can't promise success, but I'll do the best I can.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To make a set of changes permanent.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

(intransitive) To give grounds for expectation, especially of something good.
The clouds promise rain.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To integrate new revisions into the public or master version of a file in a version control system.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

In general, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to another, which binds the person who makes it to do, or to forbear to do, a specified act; a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act.
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To enter into a contest; to match; often followed by with.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

An engagement by one person to another, either in words or in writing, but properly not under seal, for the performance or nonperformance of some particular thing. The word promise is used to denote the mere engagement of a person, without regard to the consideration for it, or the corresponding duty of the party to whom it is made.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To confound.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

That which causes hope, expectation, or assurance; especially, that which affords expectation of future distinction; as, a youth of great promise.
My native country was full of youthful promise.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To commit an offence; especially, to fornicate.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Bestowal, fulfillment, or grant of what is promised.
He . . . commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To be committed or perpetrated; to take place; to occur.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To engage to do, give, make, or to refrain from doing, giving, or making, or the like; to covenant; to engage; as, to promise a visit; to promise a cessation of hostilities; to promise the payment of money.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

The act of committing (e.g. a database transaction), making it a permanent change; such a change.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To afford reason to expect; to cause hope or assurance of; as, the clouds promise rain.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

(programming) The submission of source code or other material to a source control repository.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To make declaration of or give assurance of, as some benefit to be conferred; to pledge or engage to bestow; as, the proprietors promised large tracts of land; the city promised a reward.
I dare promise myself you will attest the truth of all I have advanced.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To give in trust; to put into charge or keeping; to intrust; to consign; - used with to, unto.
Commit thy way unto the Lord.
Bid him farewell, commit him to the grave.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To give assurance by a promise, or binding declaration.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To put in charge of a jailor; to imprison.
These two were committed.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

To afford hopes or expectation; to give ground to expect good; rarely, to give reason to expect evil.
Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?I fear it, I promise you.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To do; to perpetrate, as a crime, sin, or fault.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

A verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in the future
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To join for a contest; to match; - followed by with.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Grounds for feeling hopeful about the future;
There is little or no promise that he will recover
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

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.
Any sudden assent to the proposal . . . might possibly be considered as committing the faith of the United States.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Make a promise or commitment
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To confound.
Committing short and long [quantities].
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Promise to undertake or give;
I promise you my best effort
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

To sin; esp., to be incontinent.
Commit not with man's sworn spouse.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Make a prediction about; tell in advance;
Call the outcome of an election
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

Perform an act, usually with a negative connotation;
Perpetrate a crime
Pull a bank robbery
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Give grounds for expectations;
The new results were promising
The results promised fame and glory
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

Give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause;
She committed herself to the work of God
Give one's talents to a good cause
Consecrate your life to the church
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

Show potential or signs of future development.
The young athlete shows promise.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

Commit

Cause to be admitted; of persons to an institution;
After the second episode, she had to be committed
He was committed to prison
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Promise

An indication of future success or improvement.
The new policy holds a promise for economic growth.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Commit

Confer a trust upon;
The messenger was entrusted with the general's secret
I commit my soul to God
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

Make an investment;
Put money into bonds
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Commit

Engage oneself in a particular activity.
He committed himself to a life of service.
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

Commit

Entrust or give charge of.
They committed the task to the new manager.
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

FAQs

What does it mean to commit?

To commit means to pledge or bind oneself to an action or cause.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can you commit to a promise?

Yes, you can pledge or bind yourself to fulfill a promise.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 05, 2023

Can "commit" refer to illegal activities?

Yes, "commit" can refer to carrying out acts, including crimes.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Is a commitment more action-oriented than a promise?

Generally, yes. Commitment implies action or obligation, while promise indicates intent.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can an inanimate object commit?

Not in the active sense. However, in certain contexts, like "the paper commits the findings," it's metaphorical.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

How does a promise differ from a commitment?

A promise is an assurance of intent, while a commitment indicates taking on an obligation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Is a promise legally binding?

Not always; it's context-dependent, but some promises, like contractual agreements, are.
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

Is "commit" always serious?

Often, especially in formal contexts, but its seriousness depends on the situation.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

What is an empty promise?

It's a promise made without the intention or ability to fulfill it.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

What is a synonym for commit?

"Pledge" can be a synonym for commit.
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Can you promise without intending to keep it?

Yes, but it's considered dishonest and can harm trust.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Is a promise always about the future?

Mostly yes, as it indicates an intent or assurance about a future event.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can commitments change?

Yes, circumstances might lead to changes in commitments, but communication is crucial.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Is breaking a commitment more severe than breaking a promise?

Often yes, especially in formal contexts, but both can have significant repercussions.
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Can animals promise?

Not in the human linguistic sense, but they can show patterns that indicate predictability.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 05, 2023

Are promises always verbal?

No, they can be implied through actions or written down.
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

Can a promise be implied?

Yes, actions or situations can sometimes imply a promise without explicit wording.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Does commitment always require external pressure?

No, commitments can be self-imposed or arise from personal principles.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Why might someone commit to an action?

Due to responsibility, obligation, personal or professional reasons, among others.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

What's the opposite of promise?

"Break" as in "break a promise" or "renege."
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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