Let's say someone promised me something and this person forgot. Is there a single word that means asking this person to deliver this promise? I know that you can "collect" debt, but you cannot "collect" promises, right?

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    Yes. Are you going to keep (or fulfil) your promise? Sep 24, 2020 at 14:53
  • The relevant phrase is to "honor a promise". Not sure if this can be captured in a single word.
    – Xavier
    Sep 25, 2020 at 5:22
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    You would ask them to ‘deliver on a promise’, I think, rather than ‘deliver a promise’. Sep 25, 2020 at 7:41
  • @Fivesideddice - I agree and I think this is worth expanding a little and submitting as an answer. I was going to give this answer until I saw your comment. Sep 25, 2020 at 13:36
  • It's unclear if this is something you want to say to that person or if you want to describe that process (for example, to another person).
    – Fattie
    Sep 27, 2020 at 16:02

6 Answers 6


One can say "hold them to their promise".

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    Of the current answers, this is the only one that actually means "asking someone to deliver their promise", as per the question. The rest all mean "deliver one's promise" without the "asking someone" part.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 25, 2020 at 9:52
  • All of the answers are words that are for the person who made the promise, but not for the person who is asking the person to fulfill the promise. Thanks a lot!
    – irene
    Sep 25, 2020 at 14:43
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    @irene you could, but saying "I will hold you to your promise" is much more common. "That promise is something I have every intention of holding you to." reads like it would be in a dramatic play or tv show, maybe with a british accent.
    – eps
    Sep 25, 2020 at 17:19
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    @eps Unless it was part of some context, such as "I know I've let you slide on other stuff, but that promise is something I have every intention of holding you too."
    – Kevin
    Sep 25, 2020 at 19:04
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    @irene - just FYI a more natural spoken phrasing today there would be "I have every intention of holding you to that promise." It's common to say something like "You should know that I have every intention of holding you to that promise." (the phrasing you gave sounds a bit .. Victorian you know? heh.)
    – Fattie
    Sep 27, 2020 at 16:04

One keeps a promise. That is what you would request of a promiser. You promised you would help me move. I'm asking that you keep that promise.


You could say "Are you going to fulfil your promise?"

From Collins Dictionary:

If you fulfil something such as a promise, dream, or hope, you do what you said or hoped you would do.

Example: Politicians will try very hard to fulfil the promises that they make.

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    Note: Spelled "fulfill" in American English. Sep 25, 2020 at 13:51
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    An interesting example chosen by Collins there...
    – Tim
    Sep 25, 2020 at 20:22

One can also honor (or perhaps honour) a promise, as in "She asked him to honor his promise." That's not to say there's a single word equivalent for "ask to honor a promise" or even "ask to honor".

Some googly stats:

+"Keep your promise"   1.04m
+"Keep his promise"    2.34m

+"Honor your promise"    770,000
+"Honor his promise"     632,000

+"Honour your promise"    30,400
+"Honour his promise"    159,000

And n-grams:



You could ask them not to renege on their promise.

Merriam Webster - renege

renege - verb
re·​nege | \ ri-ˈneg also -ˈnāg, -ˈnig; rē-
reneged; reneging
Definition of renege
intransitive verb
1 : to go back on a promise or commitment
2 : revoke
3 obsolete : to make a denial

Sample sentences:

They had promised to pay her tuition but later reneged. my so-called best friend promised to help me move, only to renege come Saturday morning

My so-called best friend promised to help me move, only to renege come Saturday morning


For the person receiving the promise, you can "enforce" the promise. It's more a legal usage than a common usage and it can be a bit slippery because it sounds almost like you will use physical force, but actually it could be anything (like not letting your kid watch TV because they didn't take out the trash like they promised).

From Google: "compel observance of or compliance with (a law, rule, or obligation)"

Here you would compel observance of any obligations regarding the promise.

Legally some promises are "illusory" meaning that the courts won't enforce them, but you could enforce them privately...like the kids not taking out the trash probably wouldn't be enforced by the court system.

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