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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for commit in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Borrowed from Latin committere (to bring together, join, compare, commit (a wrong), incur, give in charge, etc.), from com- (together) + mittere (to send). See mission.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈmɪt/
  • Rhymes: -ɪt
  • Hyphenation: com‧mit
  • (file)


commit (third-person singular simple present commits, present participle committing, simple past and past participle committed)

  1. To give in trust; to put into charge or keeping; to entrust; to consign; — used with to, unto.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bible, Psalms xxxvii. 5
      Commit thy way unto the Lord.
    • c. 1590, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, quoted in 1594, Act V, scene 3:
      Bid him farewell, commit him to the grave.
  2. To put in charge of a jailer; to imprison.
  3. (transitive) to have enter an establishment, such as a hospital or asylum, as a patient
    Tony should be committed to a nuthouse!
  4. To do (something bad); to perpetrate, as a crime, sin, or fault.
    to commit murder
    to commit a series of heinous crimes
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bible, Exodus xx. 4
      Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  5. To join a contest; to match; followed by with.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dr. H. More to this entry?)
  6. To pledge or bind; to compromise, expose, or endanger by some decisive act or preliminary step. (Traditionally used only reflexively but now also without oneself etc.)[1]
    to commit oneself to a certain action
    to commit to a relationship
    • (Can we date this quote?) Junius
      You might have satisfied every duty of political friendship, without committing the honour of your sovereign.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Marshall
      Any sudden assent to the proposal [] might possibly be considered as committing the faith of the United States.
  7. (computing) To make a set of changes permanent.
  8. (obsolete, Latinism) To confound.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      committing short and long [quantities]
  9. (obsolete, intransitive) To commit an offence; especially, to fornicate.
  10. (obsolete, intransitive) To be committed or perpetrated; to take place; to occur.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      As a vast herd of cows in a rich farmer's yard, if, while they are milked, they hear their calves at a distance, lamenting the robbery which is then committing, roar and bellow; so roared forth the Somersetshire mob an hallaloo, made up of almost as many squalls, screams, and other different sounds as there were persons, or indeed passions among them []

Usage notesEdit

To commit, entrust, consign. These words have in common the idea of transferring from oneself to the care and custody of another. Commit is the widest term, and may express only the general idea of delivering into the charge of another; as, to commit a lawsuit to the care of an attorney; or it may have the special sense of entrusting with or without limitations, as to a superior power, or to a careful servant, or of consigning, as to writing or paper, to the flames, or to prison. To entrust denotes the act of committing to the exercise of confidence or trust; as, to entrust a friend with the care of a child, or with a secret. To consign is a more formal act, and regards the thing transferred as placed chiefly or wholly out of one's immediate control; as, to consign a pupil to the charge of his instructor; to consign goods to an agent for sale; to consign a work to the press.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



Further readingEdit


English Wikipedia has an article on:

commit (plural commits)

  1. (computing) The act of committing (e.g. a database transaction or source code into a source control repository), making it a permanent change.
    • 1988, Klaus R Dittrich, Advances in Object-Oriented Database Systems: 2nd International Workshop
      To support locking and process synchronization independently of transaction commits, the server provides semaphore objects...
    • 2009, Jon Loeliger, Version Control with Git
      Every Git commit represents a single, atomic changeset with respect to the previous state.






  1. third-person singular past historic of commettre