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I ran into this expression when reading A History of Britain by Simon Schama,

This was as good as saying that the king(Edward I) might not be completely off his head to make such a demand, but it was for him, not them (Scots deputies), to come up with the substantiating document. For good measure they added that they were unauthorised to answer any questions that would commit, in advance, a king who had not yet been installed on the Scottish throne and who (it was implied) might well have his own notions on the matter.

What does "commit a king" here mean in the context?

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commit: Pledge or bind (a person or an organization) to a certain course or policy.

In this example "to commit a king who was [...]" means to make a binding decision for a king.

  • The idea is, "To commit the king to do X", or "the king is now committed to do X". – Jay Apr 4 '18 at 15:44

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