commit (v.)

late 14c., "to give in charge, entrust," from Latin committere "to unite, connect, combine; to bring together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission).

The evolution of the modern range of meanings in English is not entirely clear. Sense of "to perpetrate (a crime), do, perform (especially something reprehensible)" was ancient in Latin; in English it is attested from mid-15c. Meaning "consign (someone) to custody (of prison, a mental institution, etc.) by official warrant" is from early 15c.

From 1530s as "trust (oneself) completely to;" from 1770 as "put or bring into danger by an irrevocable preliminary act." The intransitive use (in place of commit oneself) first recorded 1982, probably influenced by existentialism use (1948) of commitment to translate Sartre's engagement "emotional and moral engagement."

Origin and meaning of commit

updated on October 13, 2021

Definitions of commit from WordNet

commit (v.)
perform an act, usually with a negative connotation;
Synonyms: perpetrate / pull
commit (v.)
give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause;
She committed herself to the work of God
Synonyms: give / dedicate / consecrate / devote
commit (v.)
cause to be admitted; of persons to an institution;
he was committed to prison
After the second episode, she had to be committed
Synonyms: institutionalize / institutionalise / send / charge
commit (v.)
confer a trust upon;
I commit my soul to God
Synonyms: entrust / intrust / trust / confide
commit (v.)
make an investment;
Synonyms: invest / put / place
commit (v.)
engage in or perform;
commit a random act of kindness
Synonyms: practice
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.