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empty promise

A promise that is devoid of worth or meaning, one that cannot or was never intended to be carried out. John may be a sweet-talker, but in reality, he's a lowlife full of empty promises.
See also: empty, promise

a promise is a promise

A phrase emphasizing that a promise should be kept. I know you feel differently now, but you said you would help me, and a promise is a promise!
See also: promise

a promise made is a promise kept

When one makes a promise, it should be done with the intention of following through. I said I would help you, and I will—because, as far as I'm concerned, a promise made is a promise kept.
See also: kept, made, promise

breach of promise

A violation of a promise one has made. You told me you would study for this test, and then you got an F. That sounds like a breach of promise to me!
See also: breach, of, promise

go back on one's word

 and go back on one's promise; go back on one's pledge
to break a promise that one has made. I hate to go back on my word, but I won't pay you $100 afterall. Going back on your promise makes you a liar.
See also: back, word

I promise you!

Inf. I am telling you the truth! (Compare this with Trust me!) John: Things will work out, I promise you! Jane: Okay, but when? Sue: I'll be there exactly when I said. Bob: Are you sure? Sue: I promise you, I am telling the truth!
See also: promise

keep a promise

 and keep one's promise
to make good on a promise; to fulfill one's promise. If you can't keep your promises, you shouldn't make them in the first place.
See also: keep, promise

*lick and a promise

Fig. a hasty bit of work; a quick once-over. (*Typically: finish something with ~; give something ~.) I was pressed for time, so I just gave the housework a lick and a promise. Mary spent so much time on her history paper that she had to finish her math homework with a lick and a promise.
See also: and, lick, promise

*lot of promise

much promise for the future. (*Typically: have ~; show ~.) Sally is quite young, but she has a lot of promise. This bush is small, but it shows a lot of promise.
See also: lot, of, promise

promise something to someone

to pledge something to someone. I promised this vase to my niece. Is this book promised to anyone?
See also: promise

promise the moon (to someone)

 and promise someone the moon
to make extravagant promises to someone. Bill will promise you the moon, but he won't live up to his promises. My boss promised the moon, but never gave me a raise.
See also: moon, promise

Promises are like piecrust, made to be broken.

Prov. It is useless to make promises, because people always break their promises. Lisa made Andrew promise not to drink anymore, but promises are like piecrust, made to be broken.
See also: broken, like, made, Promise

hold promise

to be likely to succeed The new drug holds promise for helping to control addiction.
See also: hold, promise

promises, promises

you will probably not do what you say you will do “When I get my check I'll buy you a new coat.” “Promises, promises!”
See also: promise

give something a lick and a promise

1. (British & Australian old-fashioned) to clean something quickly and not carefully I put on my new suit, gave my shoes a lick and a promise, and left the house.
2. (American & Australian old-fashioned) to do a job or piece of work quickly and not carefully We didn't have time to do much clearing up in the yard - just gave the grass a lick and a promise.
See also: and, give, lick, promise

promise (somebody) the moon

  (British, American & Australian) also promise (somebody) the earth (British & Australian)
to promise something impossible He had promised her the earth but five years later they were still living in the same small house.
See also: moon, promise

the promised land

a place that offers a lot of good opportunities
Usage notes: This phrase comes from the Bible.
America was the promised land for many immigrant families.
See also: land, promise

Promises, promises!

something that you say when someone says they will do something and you do not believe them 'Honestly, I will call you back this time.' 'Promises, promises!'

lick and a promise, a

A superficial effort made without care or enthusiasm. For example, I haven't time to do a good job of vacuuming, just enough for a lick and a promise. This expression is believed to allude to the quick lick a cat or other animal might give itself and a promise to do more or better at some future time. [Mid-1800s]
See also: and, lick

a lick and a promise

n. a very casual treatment. A lick and a promise isn’t enough. Take some time and do it right.
See also: and, lick, promise

lick and a promise

A superficial effort made without care or enthusiasm.
See also: and, lick, promise

lick and a promise

A superficial effort. Rather than wash themselves thoroughly to their parents' satisfaction, youngsters who were in a rush would splash on a little water and say they'd do a better job later. The phrase was extended to apply to any fast and incomplete job.
See also: and, lick, promise
References in periodicals archive ?
During the mobile tour, a handpicked team of Promised Land brand ambassadors will travel in-style in a one-of-a-kind restored vintage milk truck.
Thanksgiving promised that two peoples, with different religions and different ways of worshipping, could find the means of supporting each other and celebrating the bounties of this shared earth together.
Both major parties promised to invest in research and development.
All have promised to increase spending on health care.
Women promised marriage in exchange for premarital sex, for example, turned to the courts for justice when their partners reneged.
What was true for Ruth and Boaz, who were, in a way, promised to each other (by the laws of the redeemer), may also be true, hints Topsell, for promised couples in his own day, but for them alone.
When God becomes Christ, milk and honey are in short supply, and will soon be replaced by vinegar; the Promised Land has been for centuries a pawn and a tributary of stronger nations, and is about to be lost altogether; Jesus will die childless, and his method of disciple-gathering cuts against the grain of family ties rather than enrolling the generations.
Many new hires say that they accepted a job because of a promised mentoring program--one that never materializes, and one that the manager doesn't know was part at the discussions.
Many celebrities have made their promises, including her Taggart co-star, James MacPherson, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire presenter Chris Tarrant, who has promised to record a book for the blind each year, but Blythe emphasises you don't have to be well- known to take part.
If the assets promised are marketable equity securities with readily determinable fair values or debt securities (as defined in Statement no.
They choose not to quit when the going gets rough because they promised once to see it through.
However, the accountants also pointed out that the legatees must not be promised anything in return for disclaiming.
36) For example, courts have found confessions to be voluntary, even when interrogating officers promised the following collateral benefits:
A Department of Labor study estimated the liability for benefits promised to existing workers over the age of 40 at $98 billion.
para]]DALLAS, May 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Promised Land, a premium line of all natural dairy products, today announced the debut of its latest limited time offering, Mint Chocolate Chip milk.