pledge#

pledge#
pledge n Pledge, earnest, token, pawn, hostage are comparable when they denote something that is given or held as a sign of another's faith or intention to do what has been promised.
Pledge, originally and still in some applications a technical legal term, applies in general to something handed over to another as a token
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bear her this jewel, pledge of my affection— Shak.

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or as security for the performance of an obligation or payment of a debt
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property of the debtor in the creditor's possession was held as a valid pledgeHarvard Law Review

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the pawnshop, where one waits nervously while the swarthy shrewd-eyed attendant squints contemptuously at the pledges one offers— Donn Byrne

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Earnest, basically the money or other thing of value given by a buyer to a seller to bind a bargain, in its extended sense applies to something which serves as a promise or assurance of more to come or which establishes a strong probability of it
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cutting off the heads of Empson and Dudley as an earnest of the great love he bare his people— Trevelyan

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it seemed to him a sort of earnest that Providence intended his rescue from worse consequences— George Eliot

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India must be granted her independence, as earnest to the subject peoples of the earth— GriswoId

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Token (see also SIGN 1) applies to something given as a guaranty or proof of a person or thing's authority, authenticity, or good faith
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I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth— Gen 9:13

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from time to time said something ... as a token of friendship— Stewart

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In specific concrete use token is applied to something which serves as a proof of an obligation, a right, a debt, or a payment; thus, a coinlike piece of metal sold by a transportation company for use as a ticket is usually called a token; coins or notes issued by some countries, states, or cities as currency at a nominal or face value above their real value but redeemable at their face value are collectively called tokens.
Pawn retains in anthropological use an earlier broad equivalence to a security pledge and then applies to a person held in servitude pending settlement of a debt
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pawns are debtors whose work serves as interest until the loan is repaid— Amer. Anthropologisty

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In more general use pawn specifically refers to a personal chattel deposited as security for the money loaned on it by another, usually by a person called a pawnbroker whose business is the loaning of money on such security
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pledge and pawn were synonymous terms in the early common law. Modern usage tends to restrict the term pawn to the pledge of jewels and other personal chattels to pawnbrokers as security for small loans— Restatement of the Law of Security

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In extended use pawn often carries a suggestion of something held for a time and liable to redemption or withdrawal by the actual owner
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my life I never held but as a pawn to wage against thy enemies— Shak.

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I held what I inherited in thee, as pawn for that inheritance of freedom which thou hast sold— Shelley

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Hostage basically applies to a person handed over to another or kept by another as a guarantee of one's good or peaceable or submissive intentions or as a pledge until one's agreement or promise has been fulfilled
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hostages were taken in very large numbers from the civilian popu-lations— Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression

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But sometimes the term is extended to other guarantees and pledges
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you know now your hostages: your uncle's word and my firm faith— Shak.

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Analogous words: *guarantee, guaranty, security, surety, bond, bail
pledge vb *promise, engage, plight, covenant, contract
Analogous words: bind, *tie: *commit, consign, confide, entrust
Antonyms: abjure

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pledge — 1 / plej/ n 1: a delivery of esp. personal property as security for a debt or other obligation; broadly: the perfection of a security interest in collateral through possession of the collateral by a creditor or other promisee 2 a: property and… …   Law dictionary

  • Pledge — Pledge, n. [OF. plege, pleige, pledge, guaranty, LL. plegium, plivium; akin to OF. plevir to bail, guaranty, perhaps fr. L. praebere to proffer, offer (sc. fidem a trust, a promise of security), but cf. also E. play. [root]28. Cf. {Prebend},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pledge — Pledge, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pledged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pledging}.] [Cf. OF. pleiger to give security. See {Pledge}, n.] 1. To deposit, as a chattel, in pledge or pawn; to leave in possession of another as security; as, to pledge one s watch.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pledge — [plej] n. [ME plegge < OFr pleige < ML plegium < plevium, security, warranty, infl. by Frank * pligi, liability; akin to OS plegan, to warrant] 1. the condition of being given or held as security for a contract, payment, etc. [a thing… …   English World dictionary

  • Pledge 3 — (Негомбо,Шри Ланка) Категория отеля: 4 звездочный отель Адрес: No 3, Eththukala, 11500 Него …   Каталог отелей

  • pledge — (n.) mid 14c., surety, bail, from O.Fr. plege (Fr. pleige) hostage, security, bail, probably from Frankish *plegan to guarantee, from a West Germanic root meaning have responsibility for (Cf. O.Saxon plegan vouch for, O.H.G. pflegan to care for,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pledge — [n1] word of honor agreement, assurance, covenant, guarantee, health, oath, promise, toast, undertaking, vow, warrant, word; concepts 71,278 Ant. break pledge [n2] sign of good faith bail, bond, collateral, deposit, earnest, gage, guarantee,… …   New thesaurus

  • Pledge — [plɛdʒ] das; <aus gleichbed. engl. pledge> (veraltet) Handgeld, Unterpfand …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • pledge — ► NOUN 1) a solemn promise or undertaking. 2) Law a thing that is given as security for the fulfilment of a contract or the payment of a debt and is liable to forfeiture in the event of failure. 3) (the pledge) a solemn undertaking to abstain… …   English terms dictionary

  • Pledge — (engl., spr. pledsch), Pfand; Gelübde bei Aufnahme in einen Mäßigkeits (Temperenz ) Verein …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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