Pledge, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pledged p. pr. & vb. n. Pledging.]
1. To deposit, as a chattel, in pledge or pawn; to leave in possession of another as security; as, to pledge one's watch.
2. To give or pass as a security; to guarantee; to engage; to plight; as, to pledge one's word and honor.
We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. --The Declaration of Independence.
3. To secure performance of, as by a pledge. [Obs.]
To pledge my vow, I give my hand. --Shak.
4. To bind or engage by promise or declaration; to engage solemnly; as, to pledge one's self.
5. To invite another to drink, by drinking of the cup first, and then handing it to him, as a pledge of good will; hence, to drink the health of; to toast.
Pledge me, my friend, and drink till thou be'st wise. --Cowley.
1. Law The transfer of possession of personal property from a debtor to a creditor as security for a debt or engagement; also, the contract created between the debtor and creditor by a thing being so delivered or deposited, forming a species of bailment; also, that which is so delivered or deposited; something put in pawn.
Note: ☞ Pledge is ordinarily confined to personal property; the title or ownership does not pass by it; possession is essential to it. In all these points it differs from a mortgage [see Mortgage]; and in the last, from the hypotheca of the Roman law. See Hypotheca.
2. Old Eng. Law A person who undertook, or became responsible, for another; a bail; a surety; a hostage. “I am Grumio's pledge.”
3. A hypothecation without transfer of possession.
4. Anything given or considered as a security for the performance of an act; a guarantee; as, mutual interest is the best pledge for the performance of treaties. “That voice, their liveliest pledge of hope.”
5. A promise or agreement by which one binds one's self to do, or to refrain from doing, something; especially, a solemn promise in writing to refrain from using intoxicating liquors or the like; as, to sign the pledge; the mayor had made no pledges.
6. A sentiment to which assent is given by drinking one's health; a toast; a health.
To hold in pledge, to keep as security.
To put in pledge, to pawn; to give as security.
Syn: -- See Earnest.
n 1: a deposit of personal property as security for a debt; "his
saxophone was in pledge"
2: someone accepted for membership but not yet fully admitted
to the group
3: a drink in honor of or to the health of a person or event
4: a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from
something; "an assurance of help when needed"; "signed a
pledge never to reveal the secret" [syn: assurance]
v 1: promise solemnly and formally; "I pledge that will honor my
wife" [syn: plight]
2: pay (an amount of money) as a contribution to a charity or
service, especially at regular intervals; "I pledged $10 a
month to my favorite radio station" [syn: subscribe]
3: propose a toast to; "Let us toast the birthday girl!";
"Let's drink to the New Year" [syn: toast, drink, salute,
4: give as a guarantee; "I pledge my honor"
5: bind or secure by a pledge; "I was pledged to silence"