Definition of promissory in English:



  • 1Law
    Conveying or implying a promise.

    ‘statements that are promissory in nature’
    ‘promissory words’
    • ‘The promissory estoppel is my argument with the High Court and I feel that the Full Court overlooked it because they constantly said to us that it was a compromised offer.’
    • ‘It is quite normal for both vendor and buyer to initially enter into a promissory contract which details the conditions of sale.’
    • ‘I should add that I do not consider the doctrine or promissory estoppel to apply in these circumstances.’
    • ‘Once there is a genuine issue for trial regarding the validity of the Agreement, the promissory estoppel argument also fails.’
    • ‘A party relying on the doctrine of promissory estoppel must establish that the other has by word or conduct made a promise intended to affect their legal relationship and to be acted upon.’
  • 2archaic Indicative of something to come; full of promise.

    ‘the glow of evening is promissory of the splendid days to come’
    • ‘As early as the play's first scene, Shakespeare links promissory language to violence.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin promissorius, from promiss- ‘promised’, from the verb promittere (see promise).