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Difference between Give a pledge and Give the pledge

give a pledge

1. make a solemn promise:

  • During his inauguration speech he gave a pledge not to declare the island independent during his term of office.

2. promise to pay money or make a donation:

  • A senior member of your staff, Charlie Phillips, acting on your behalf, gave a pledge of $10 000 to a charity function.

give the pledge

1. = give a pledge 1:

  • There was a royalist spy in the midst playing the hypocrite—Joseph Galloway, a Pennsylvania delegate—who gave the pledge and broke it.

2. (of a priest, etc.) get other people to take an oath never to drink alcohol:

  • Bishop Hughes formed a Catholic abstinence society and gave the pledge to over 20,000 people.

Cf.: take the pledge—make a solemn promise never to drink alcohol:

  • Eileen’s husband, who is almost permanently drunk, declares that he wants to take the pledge.