Promisor (Legal Definition In Contract Law And Examples)

What is a Promisor?

How do you legally define it?

What are the essential elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our legal dictionary!

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What is a Promisor

What is the meaning of promisor?

A promisor is a person who essentially makes a promise to another person.

A “promise” is an engagement by a person to perform or do something in favor of another.

From a legal perspective (in contract law), a promisor is a person who makes an offer, covenants, or agrees to do something (or not to do something).

When the promisor’s commitments observe contract laws or contract formation rules if the promise is made in an offer, the promise can be legally binding.

Here are the elements of a contract:

  • An offer by the promisor (offeror)
  • Acceptance by the promisee (offeree)
  • Consideration (the exchange bargain)
  • Contract’s object or purpose must be legal
  • Contracting parties must have the legal capacity 

For example, if Mary promises to pay Jack $1,000 to paint a room (and Jack agrees), Mary will be legally bound to do so as the promise led to the formation of an oral contract.

On the other hand, a promise intended to result in actions or conduct that violate the law, statutes, or public policy will not be considered legally valid or enforceable.

A promise to do or not to do may also be conditional.

When the conditions are materialized, then the promisor must execute on his or her promise.

For example, an insurance company can promise to compensate the insured in the event of a disaster.

If the event of a disaster were to occur (the condition), then the insurance company is obligated to respect its promise.

Promisor definition

How do you define promisor?

According to the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, promisor is defined as follows:

A person who makes a promise.

The definition of the promisor is short and sweet.

It’s a person who:

  • Assures someone to do something
  • Commits to perform certain duties
  • Undertakes to do something
  • Agrees to refrain from doing something 
  • Undertakes not to say or do certain actions

Promisor in contract law 

Obligated to the promise 

In contract law, a promisor is a person or entity that commits to being legally bound by the terms of his or her promise.

For instance, Mary offers Jack $1,000 for him to paint a room.

This is an offer made by Mary to Jack consisting of her “promise” to pay Jack $1,000 if he accepts to paint a room.

If Jack accepts the offer, then a contract is formed between them where Mary will need to execute her obligation when the room is painted.

Contractual covenant 

The promise can also be considered a covenant in a contract.

In essence, when a promisor’s promise is put in writing in a contract, it’s considered to be a covenant.

A non-compete clause, non-disclosure clause, non-solicitation clause, or non-disparagement clause are all contractual provisions (or covenants) where a person promises not to do something in the future.

In the case of a non-compete agreement, the promisor will agree not to compete with the promisee in accordance with the terms of the non-compete agreement.

You can read our article on covenant vs contract to better understand the legal dynamics of a covenant.

Unenforceable promise 

In certain cases, the promisor’s promise may not be enforceable, such as:

  • When the promise violates the law or public policy
  • When the performance of the obligation is prevented by force majeure
  • When the promisee prevents the promisor’s performance 
  • When the promisor’s obligations have been fully discharged by the promisee 
  • When the promisor’s obligations are fully performed 
  • When the promise is made without sufficient consideration 

Promisor and promisee 

What is the difference between a promisor vs promisee?

A promisor is a person or entity making a promise or committing to doing (or not doing) something.

A promisee is a person or entity receiving the promise or the beneficiary of the promisor’s commitment.

In contract law, the promisor has the obligation to execute the content of the promise in favor of the promisee at the expense of being considered in breach of contract or being liable for possible damages.

A promisee is a person who can demand that the promisor execute the terms of the promise.

The law affords the promisee the right to legally enforce the terms of the promise against the promisor and seek either specific performance or damages (among other remedies).

Examples of Promisor in a sentence

Let’s look at an example of the word “promisor” in a sentence.

Example in sentence 1:

No matter how trivial is the promise, the promisor should honor her words and deliver on the promise

Example in sentence 2: 

The promisor should think twice before committing to it

Example in sentence 3:

He promised her land and moon, the promisor’s engagement is so illusory!

Examples of Promisor in contract 

Let’s look at an example of how the term promisor may be used in a legally binding contract.

Example 1: Promissory note

For valuable consideration, Party A (“Promisor”), does hereby promise to pay to the order of Party B (“Promisee”), the principal sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000), together with interest thereon from the date of this Promissory Note (“Note”) at the rate of Ten Percent (10%) per annum ( “Interest Rate”). Promisor shall make quarterly interest payments to Promisee starting from the execution of the present Agreement until the maturity date of the Note. 

Example 2: Exploration rights 

The Promisor grants the Prospector the exclusive right to explore and to exploit the lot during the term of two years as of the Effective Date.


So what is the legal definition of Promisor?

Who is the promisor?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Promisor meaning:

  • A promisor is a person who promises to do something or not to do something
  • A promise with sufficient consideration and observing contract law rules is legally binding on the person making the promise (promisor) and enforceable by the beneficiary of the promise (promisee)
  • If a promisor does not perform his or her undertakings or engagements in favor of the promisee, the promise may have legal cause of action to demand the execution of the duties or seek damages
  • In some cases, the promise cannot be enforced when its objective is illegal, when the duties have been performed, when the obligated party is prevented by factors out of his or her control or other factors 
Accommodation paper
Accord and satisfaction 
Bilateral contract 
Business law 
Covenant not to sue 
False pretenses 
Foro conscientiae 
Illusory promise 
Insufficient consideration 
Non-compete agreement
Non-disclosure agreement 
Non-disparagement agreement
Non-solicitation agreement
Nudum pactum 
Promissory estoppel 
Promissory note