verb (used with object), com·mit·ted, com·mit·ting.

  1. to give in trust or charge; consign.
  2. to consign for preservation: to commit ideas to writing; to commit a poem to memory.
  3. 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.
  4. to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action.
  5. to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend: to commit one’s soul to God.
  6. to do; perform; perpetrate: to commit murder; to commit an error.
  7. to consign to custody: to commit a delinquent to a reformatory.
  8. to place in a mental institution or hospital by or as if by legal authority: He was committed on the certificate of two psychiatrists.
  9. to deliver for treatment, disposal, etc.; relegate: to commit a manuscript to the flames.
  10. to send into a battle: The commander has committed all his troops to the front lines.
  11. Parliamentary Procedure. to refer (a bill or the like) to a committee for consideration.

verb (used without object), com·mit·ted, com·mit·ting.

  1. to pledge or engage oneself: an athlete who commits to the highest standards.

verb -mits, -mitting or -mitted (tr)

  1. to hand over, as for safekeeping; charge; entrustto commit a child to the care of its aunt
  2. commit to memory to learn by heart; memorize
  3. to confine officially or take into custodyto commit someone to prison
  4. (usually passive) to pledge or align (oneself), as to a particular cause, action, or attitudea committed radical
  5. to order (forces) into action
  6. to perform (a crime, error, etc); do; perpetrate
  7. to surrender, esp for destructionshe committed the letter to the fire
  8. 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.

  1. To place officially in confinement or custody, as in a mental health facility.
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