verb (used with object), com·mit·ted, com·mit·ting.
- to give in trust or charge; consign.
- to consign for preservation: to commit ideas to writing; to commit a poem to memory.
- to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question; express (one’s intention, feeling, etc.): Asked if he was a candidate, he refused to commit himself.
- to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action.
- to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend: to commit one’s soul to God.
- to do; perform; perpetrate: to commit murder; to commit an error.
- to consign to custody: to commit a delinquent to a reformatory.
- to place in a mental institution or hospital by or as if by legal authority: He was committed on the certificate of two psychiatrists.
- to deliver for treatment, disposal, etc.; relegate: to commit a manuscript to the flames.
- to send into a battle: The commander has committed all his troops to the front lines.
- Parliamentary Procedure. to refer (a bill or the like) to a committee for consideration.
verb (used without object), com·mit·ted, com·mit·ting.
- to pledge or engage oneself: an athlete who commits to the highest standards.
verb -mits, -mitting or -mitted (tr)
- to hand over, as for safekeeping; charge; entrustto commit a child to the care of its aunt
- commit to memory to learn by heart; memorize
- to confine officially or take into custodyto commit someone to prison
- (usually passive) to pledge or align (oneself), as to a particular cause, action, or attitudea committed radical
- to order (forces) into action
- to perform (a crime, error, etc); do; perpetrate
- to surrender, esp for destructionshe committed the letter to the fire
- to refer (a bill, etc) to a committee of a legislature
v.late 14c., “to give in charge, entrust,” from Latin committere “to unite, connect, combine; to bring together,” from com- “together” (see com-) + mittere “to put, send” (see mission). Evolution into modern range of meanings is not entirely clear. Sense of “perpetrating” was ancient in Latin; in English from mid-15c. The intransitive use (in place of commit oneself) first recorded 1982, probably influenced by existentialism use (1948) of commitment to translate Sartre’s engagement “emotional and moral engagement.” v.
- To place officially in confinement or custody, as in a mental health facility.