c. 1400, "a pledge, vow," from Old French promesse "promise, guarantee, assurance" (13c.) and directly from Latin promissum "a promise," noun use of neuter past participle of promittere "send forth; let go; foretell; assure beforehand, promise," from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission). The ground sense is "declaration made about the future, about some act to be done or not done."
c. 1400, from promise (n.). Related: Promised; promising. Promised land (1530s) is a reference to the land of Canaan promised to Abraham and his progeny (Hebrew xi:9, etc.; Greek ten ges tes epangelias).
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