promissory note, unconditional written promise to pay a certain sum of money at a definite time to bearer or to a specified person on his order. Promissory notes are generally used as evidence of debt. The holder of a note made payable to bearer may transfer his rights to another by delivery of the note. If the note is payable to order, it may be transferred by endorsement and delivery.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.