con·tract 1 /'kän-ˌtrakt/ n [Latin contractus from contrahere to draw together, enter into (a relationship or agreement), from com - with, together + trahere to draw]
1: an agreement between two or more parties that creates in each party a duty to do or not do something and a right to performance of the other's duty or a remedy for the breach of the other's duty; also: a document embodying such an agreement see also accept, bargain 2, breach, cause 4, consent, consideration, duty, meeting of the minds, obligation, offer, performance, promise, rescind, social contract, subcontract; uniform commercial code in the important laws section
◇ Contracts must be made by parties with the necessary capacity (as age or mental soundness) and must have a lawful, not criminal, object. Except in Louisiana, a valid contract also requires consideration, mutuality of obligations, and a meeting of the minds. In Louisiana, a valid contract requires the consent of the parties and a cause for the contract in addition to capacity and a lawful object.
accessory contract: a contract (as a security agreement) made to secure the performance of another obligation compare principal contract in this entry
ad·he·sion contract /ad-'hē-zhən-/: contract of adhesion in this entry
aleatory contract: a contract in which either party's performance is dependent on an uncertain event
bilateral contract: a contract in which both parties have promised to perform compare unilateral contract in this entry
commutative contract in the civil law of Louisiana: a contract in which the obligations of the parties to perform are equal to each other in value
constructive contract: quasi contract in this entry
contract for deed: land installment contract in this entry
contract implied in fact: implied contract (1) in this entry
contract implied in law: quasi contract in this entry
contract of adhesion: a contract that is not negotiated by the parties and that is usu. embodied in a standardized form prepared by the dominant party
contract under seal: a contract that does not require consideration in order to be binding but that must be sealed, delivered, and show a clear intention of the parties to create a contract under seal
◇ Contracts under seal were in use long prior to the development of the requirement of consideration. They originally usu. were impressed with an actual seal, but today the word seal, the abbreviation L.S., or words such as “signed and sealed” or “witness my seal” may take the place of the seal. Without a clear indication of the parties' intention, however, the presence of a seal, such as a corporate seal, is insufficient to create a contract under seal. Contracts under seal have a substantially longer statute of limitations than contracts based on consideration.
des·ti·na·tion contract: a contract for goods stipulating that the seller assumes the risk of loss from damage to the goods until they arrive at the destination specified in the contract compare shipment contract in this entry
du·al contract: one of two contracts made by the same parties with regard to the same transaction; specif: one of two contracts made with regard to the sale of real estate of which one states an inaccurately high price for the purpose of defrauding a lender into providing a larger loan
executory contract: a contract that sets forth promises that are not yet performed
express contract: a contract created by the explicit language of the parties compare implied contract in this entry
formal contract: a contract made binding by the observance of required formalities regardless of the giving of consideration; specif: a contract that is a contract under seal, a recognizance, a letter of credit, or a negotiable instrument – called also special contract, specialty;
forward contract: a privately negotiated investment contract in which a buyer commits to purchase something (as a quantity of a commodity, security, or currency) at a predetermined price on a set future date – called also forward;
futures contract: a contract purchased or sold on an exchange in which a party agrees to buy or sell a quantity of a commodity on a specified future date at a set price: future – called also future contract;
gratuitous contract in the civil law of Louisiana: a contract in which one party promises to do something without receiving anything in return compare onerous contract in this entry
guaranteed investment contract: an investment contract under which an institutional investor deposits a lump sum of money (as a pension fund) with an insurance company that guarantees the return of principal and a specific amount of interest at the end of the contract term; also: such a contract considered as an investment
purchased a guaranteed investment contract – called also GIC;
il·lu·so·ry contract /i-'lü-sə-rē-, -zə-/: a contract in which at least one party makes an illusory promise
implied contract
1: a contract that a court infers to exist from the words and conduct of the parties – called also contract implied in fact, implied in fact contract; compare express contract in this entry
2: quasi contract in this entry
implied in law contract: quasi contract (1) in this entry
informal contract: any contract that is not a formal contract – called also simple contract;
innominate contract in the civil law of Louisiana: a contract that is given no special designation as to its purpose compare nominate contract in this entry
installment contract: a contract in which performance is tendered in installments (as by separate periodic delivery of goods)
investment contract: an agreement or transaction in which a party invests money in a common enterprise the profits from which are derived from the efforts of others
labor contract: a contract between an employer and a labor union reached through and containing the results of collective bargaining: collective bargaining agreement
land installment contract: a contract for the purchase of real property in which the seller retains the deed to the property or otherwise continues to have an interest in it until the buyer makes payments in installments equal to the full purchase price or as much of the purchase price as agreed upon – called also contract for deed, land contract;
maritime contract: a contract directly relating to the navigation, business, or commerce of the high seas or other navigable waters and falling within the jurisdiction of the admiralty court
nom·i·nate contract in the civil law of Louisiana: a contract given a special designation (as sale, insurance, or lease) compare innominate contract in this entry
oner·ous contract in the civil law of Louisiana: a contract in which each party obligates himself or herself in exchange for the promise of the other compare gratuitous contract in this entry
option contract: a contract in which a time period is specified within which an offer must be accepted
out·put contract: a contract in which the buyer agrees to buy and the seller agrees to sell all of a kind of goods that the seller produces
principal contract: a contract from which a secured obligation arises compare accessory contract in this entry
quasi contract
1: an obligation that is not created by a contract but that is imposed by law to prevent the unjust enrichment of one party from the acts of another party – called also contract implied in law, implied in law contract;
2 in the civil law of Louisiana: a lawful and voluntary act that benefits another for which the law imposes an obligation on the beneficiary or a third party to compensate the actor compare offense 2
re·quire·ments contract: a contract in which the seller agrees to sell and the buyer agrees to buy all of a kind of goods that the buyer requires
ship·ment contract: a contract in which the seller bears the risk of loss from damage to the goods only until they are brought to the place of shipment compare destination contract in this entry
simple contract: informal contract in this entry
special contract
1: a contract containing provisions and stipulations not ordinarily found in contracts of its kind
2: formal contract in this entry
sub·sti·tut·ed contract: a contract between parties to a prior contract that takes the place of and discharges the obligations under the prior contract compare accord 3, novation
syn·al·lag·mat·ic contract in the civil law of Louisiana: bilateral contract in this entry
unilateral contract: a contract in which only one party is obligated to perform compare bilateral contract in this entry
yellow–dog contract: an illegal employment contract in which a worker disavows membership in and agrees not to join a labor union in order to get a job
2: an insurance policy
3: the study of the law regarding contracts
— usu. used in pl.
contract 2 vt
1: to undertake or establish by a contract
2: to purchase (as goods or services) on a contract basis
— often used with out
vi: to make a contract

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun accord, accordance, agreement, arrangement, articles of agreement, assurance, avouchment, avowal, bargain, binding agreement, bond, charter, collective agreement, commitment, compact, compromise, concordat, condicio, conductio, confirmation, conventio, covenant, deal, embodied terms, engagement, entente, guarantee, instrument evidencing an agreement, ironclad agreement, legal document, mutual agreement, mutual pledge, mutual promise, mutual undertaking, negotiated agreement, obligation, pact, paction, pactum, pledge, pledged word, private understanding, promise, ratified agreement, set terms, settlement, stated terms, stipulation, terms for agreement, understanding, undertaking, warranty, written terms associated concepts: acceptance of a contract, accessory contract, action on contract, adhesion contract, aleatory contract, alteration of a contract, alternative contract, anticipatory breach of contract, assent to a contract, assignment of a contract, bilateral contract, breach of a contract, breach of contract, cancellation of a contract, claim arising on contract, collateral contract, collective agreement, commercial contract, concurrent contracts, conditional acceptance of a contract, conditional agreement, conditional contract, consideration in a contract, constructive contract, contingency contract, continuing contract, contract action, contract carrier, contract for an option, contract implied in fact, contract obligation, contract of agency, contract of carriage, contract of employment, contract of guaranty, contract of hire or hiring, contract of indemnity, contract of insurance, contract of record, contract of sale, contract of subscription for stock, contract of suretyship, contract price, contract rights, contract to lease, contract to purchase, contract to sell, contracting out work, de facto contract, divisible contract, endowment contract, enforceable contract, exclusive contract, executed contract, executory contract, express contract, fictitious contract, fiduciary contract, formal contract, fraudulent contract, future contract, general contract, government contract, gratuitous contract, guaranty contract, illegal contract, illusory contract, immoral contract, impairing the obligation of contract, implied contract, indivisible contract, inequitable contract, installment contract, joint contract, liberty of contract, lump sum contract, marriage contract, material alteration of contract, material breach of contract, obligation of contract, optional contracts, oral contract, parol agreement, parties to a contract, passive breach of contract, performance of a contract, preexisting contracts, private contract, privity of contract, public contract, quasi contract, reformation of a contract, release from a contract, renunciation of a contract, repudiation of a contract, requirements contract, rescission of a contract, restitution on a contract, revival of a contract, right to contract, sealed contract, separable contract, service contract, severable contract, specialty contract, subcontract, surety contract, third-party beneficiary contract, unconditional contract, unconscionable contract, unenforceable contract, unilateral contract, unlawful contract, valid contract, verbal contract, void contract, written contract foreign phrases:
- Vox emissa volat; litera scripta manet. — Words spoken vanish, the written letter remains
- Qui cum alio contrahit, vel est, vel debet esse non ignarus conditionis ejus. — He who contracts with another is not, or ought not to be ignorant of his condition
- Praescriptio et executio non pertinent advalorem contractus, set ad tempus et modum actionls instituendae. — Prescription and execution do not affect the validity of the contract, but the time and manner of instituting an action
- Ex turpi contractu actio non oritur. — From an immoral contract an action does not arise
- Dolo malo pactumse non servaturum. — An agreement induced by fraud is not valid
- Pacto aliquod licitum est, quid sine pacto non admittitur. — By agreement, things are allowed which are not otherwise permitted
- Nulla pactione effici potest ne dolus praestetur. — By no agreement can it be effected that a fraud shall be maintained
- In contractibus, benigna, in testamentis, benignior; inrestitutionibus, benignissima interpretatio facienda est. — In contracts, the interpretations should be liberal, in wills, more liberal; in restitutions, most liberal
- Scientia utrinque par pares contrahentesfacit. — Equal knowledge on both sides makes the contracting parties equal
- Pacta conventa quae neque contra leges, neque dolo malo inita sunt, omni modo observanda sunt. — Agreements which are not contrary to the laws, nor fraudulently entered into, are in all respects to be observed
- Pactis privatorum furi publico non derogatur. — Private contracts do not derogate from public law
- In stipulationibus cum quaeritur quid actum sit verba contrasti pulatorem interpretanda sunt. — In agreements, when the question is what was agreed upon, the terms are to be interpreted against the party offering them
- Privatis pactionibus non dubium est non laedi jus caeterorum. — There is no doubt that the rights of others cannot be prejudiced by private agreements
- In omnibus contractibus, sive nominatis sive innominatis, permutatio continetur. — In all contracts, whether nominate or innominate, an exchange, i e , a consideration, is implied
- Pacta quae contra leges constitutionesque vel contra bonos mores Hunt, nullam vim habere, indubkati juris est. — It is unquestionably the law that contracts which are made contrary to the laws or against good morals, have no force in law
- Nemo tenetur ad impossibile. — No one is bound to an impossibility.
- Pacta dant legem contractui. — Stipulations constitute the law for the contract
- Pacta que turpem causam continent non sunt observanda. — Contracts which are based on an unlawful consideration will not been forced
- Conventio vincit legem. — The agreement of parties controls the law
- Contractus ex turpi causa, vel contra bonos mores, nullus est. — A contract founded on a base consideration, or one against good morals, is null
- Nudum pactum est ubi nulla subest causa praeter conventionem; sed ubi subest causa, fit obligatio, et park actionem. — A naked contract is where there is no consideration for the agreement, but, where there is a consideration, an obligation is created and gives rise to a right of action
- Modus et conventio vincunt legem. — Custom, convention and an agreement of the parties overrule the law
- Conventio facit legem. — An agreement creates the law, i e the parties to a binding contract will be held to their promises
- Ex nudo pacto non oritur actio. — No action arises on a contract without a consideration
- Contractus legem ex conventione accipiunt. — Contracts receive legal sanction from the agreement of the parties
- Naturale est quidlibet dissolvi eo modo quo ligatur. — It is natural for a thing to be unbound in the same way in which it was made binding
- Nihil tarn conveniens est naturali aequitati quam unumquodque dissolvi eo ligamine quo ligatum est. — Nothing is so agreeable to natural equity as that a thing should be dissolved by the same means by which it was bound
- In conventionibus, contrahentium voluntas potius quam verba spectari piacuit. — In contracts, it is the rule to regard the intention of the parties rather than the actual words
- Ex maleficio non oritur contractus. — No contract is born of wrongdoing
- Ex pacto illicito non oritur actio. — From an unlawful agreement, no action will lie
- In contrahenda venditione, ambiguum pactum contra vendltorem interpretandum est. — In the negotiation of a sale, an ambiguous agreement is to be interpreted against the seller
- In contractibus, rei Veritas potius quam scriptura perspici debet. — In contracts, the truth of the matter ought to be regarded as more important than the writing.
- In contractibus, tacite insunt quae sunt moris et consuetudinis. — In contracts, matters of custom and usage are tacitly implied
- Incerta quantitas vitiat actum. — An uncertain quantity vitiates the act
- Legem enlm contractus dat. — The contract makes the law
- Nuda pactio obligationem non parit. — A naked promise does not create a binding obligation.
- Eisdem modis dissolvitur obligatio quae nascitur ex contractu, vel quasi, quibus contrahitur. — An obligation which arises in contract, or quasi contract, is dissolved in the same ways in which it is contracted
II verb accept an offer, agree, contrahere, covenant, engage, enter into, locare, make a bargain, make terms, obligate oneself, pledge, promise, undertake, undertake by contract associated concepts: contract to perform services III index abridge (shorten), abstract (summarize), accordance (compact), adjustment, arrangement (understanding), assume (undertake), attenuate, bargain, bond (secure a debt), buy, cartel, clause, commitment (responsibility), compact, composition (agreement in bankruptcy), condense, consolidate (strengthen), constrict (compress), covenant, deal, decrease, diminish, employ (engage services), incur, indenture, lease, lessen, let (lease), mutual understanding, obligation (duty), pact, pledge (binding promise), promise, promise (vow), protocol (agreement), provide (arrange for), record, reduce, rent, settlement, stipulate, stipulation, surety (certainty), testament, treaty, understanding (agreement), undertake, undertaking (commitment), undertaking (pledge)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. It does not have to be in writing but there does need to be consensus and an element of bargain. Apparent contracts can be challenged if there is no real value passing as consideration, if the nature or terms are too uncertain to reflect a proper agreement or if the parties did not mean to create a legal relationship.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

An agreement between two or more parties that is enforceable by law; a transaction between two or more people in which one or both promise to perform some duty in exchange for consideration, and if a party fails to do what he or she promised, the law allows the other party to seek a remedy.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

the branch of the law of obligations that deals with obligations voluntarily assumed. civil law jurisdictions share the inheritance of Roman law, but the canon law idea of pacta sunt servanda ('promises ought to be obeyed') has had a considerable influence. The main development since classical Roman law has been the movement away from having a law of mainly specific contracts like hire, service or sale and accepting that consent underlies them all.
There is a difference between the civil law tradition and the Anglo-American law. The requirements for a contract in Anglo-American law are that there be an offer, an acceptance, consideration and an intention to effect legal obligations. Scots law, because of its civilian origins, does not require the consideration. Contractual consent is generally discovered by objectively, rather than subjectively, investigating the parties' positions. The possibility that they have not actually reached agreement on the same thing – consensus ad idem – is treated under the law relating to mistake or error. See also unfair contract terms.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A legally binding agreement involving two or more people or businesses (called parties) that sets forth what the parties will or will not do. Most contracts that can be carried out within one year can be either oral or written. Major exceptions include contracts involving the ownership of real estate and commercial contracts for goods worth $500 or more, which must be in writing to be enforceable. (See: statute of frauds) A contract is formed when competent parties — usually adults of sound mind or business entities — mutually agree to provide each other some benefit (called consideration), such as a promise to pay money in exchange for a promise to deliver specified goods or services or the actual delivery of those goods and services. A contract normally requires one party to make a reasonably detailed offer to do something — including, typically, the price, time for performance, and other essential terms and conditions — and the other to accept without significant change. For example, if I offer to sell you ten roses for $10 to be delivered next Thursday and you say "It's a deal," we've made a valid contract. On the other hand, if one party fails to offer something of benefit to the other, there is no contract. For example, if Maria promises to fix Josh's car, there is no contract unless Josh promises something in return for Maria's services. (See also: bilateral contract, unilateral contract)
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

A promise (written or oral) by one party to fulfil an obligation to another party in return for consideration. A basic binding contract must comprise four key elements: offer, acceptance, consideration and intent to create legal relations.
Related links

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

1 n. Any legally binding agreement voluntarily entered into by two or more parties that places an obligation on each party to do or not do something for one or more of the other parties and that gives each party the right to demand the performance of whatever is promised to them by the other parties. To be valid, all parties must be legally competent to enter a contract, neither the objective nor any of the obligations or promised performances may be illegal, mutuality of the agreement and of its obligations must exist, and there must be consideration.
2 v. To enter into or settle by a contract or to make a legally binding promise.
3 n. The document containing the terms of a contract.
@ adhesion contract
A contract that is so highly restrictive of one party's rights and liabilities, but not of the other, that it is doubtful that it is a truly voluntary and uncoerced agreement. The concept typically arises in the context of standard-form contracts that are prepared by one party, not subject to negotiation, and offered on a "take it or leave it" basis. If the terms of the contract are extremely burdensome or oppressive, the court may not enforce it on the grounds that it is unconscionable. Also called contract of adhesion.
@ aleatory contract
A contract in which the performance promised by at least one party depends upon the occurrence of an uncertain future event. For example, a contract with an insurance company for the payment of proceeds in the event that an injury is suffered in the future in an automobile accident.
n. A contract in which the performance of at least one party depends upon the occurrence of an uncertain future event.
@ bilateral contract
A contract wherein each party is obligated to fulfill a promise made to the other party and is entitled to the completion of a promise made by the other party.
@ completely integrated contract
One or more documents adopted by the parties as expressing the complete and exclusive statement of all the terms of their contract. Also called entire agreement of the parties, entire contract, or entire contract of the parties. See also partially integrated contract and severable contract
@ contract implied in fact
=>> implied-in-fact contract
@ contract implied in law
=>> implied-in-law contract
@ contract under seal
A promise to do or not do something that is physically delivered to the promisee in a sealed instrument. Under common law, such a promise bound the promisor even if there was no consideration, but the use of such contracts has been modified or eliminated in most states. Also called covenant, sealed instrument.
@ cost-plus contract
A contract in which the payment for work done or supplies provided equal the total costs that the contractor incurs, plus a fixed fee or a percentage of the profits. Frequently used in transactions with the government.
@ divisible contract
@ entire contract of the parties
One or more documents adopted by the parties as expressing the complete and exclusive statement of all the terms of their contract. Also called entire agreement of the parties, entire contract, or completely integrated contract. See also partially integrated contract and severable contract
@ executed contract
1 A contract in which all the promises owed by the parties have been performed and all the obligations have been discharged. See also executory contract
2 A signed contract.
@ executory contract
A contract in which all or a portion of the promised contained therein have not yet been performed. See also executed contract
@ express contract
A contract whose terms have been clearly expressed in words, whether spoken or in writing, between the parties. See also oral contract, written contract, and implied contract
@ illusory contract
A contract in which the only consideration given by one party is an illusory promise. For example, "For $500, I will provide housekeeping services whenever I am available for the next year." Traditionally, such a contract was unenforceable, but in modern court decisions, a duty to act in good faith is often read into the promise and the contract is enforced accordingly.
@ implied contract
n. A contract inferred from the actions of the parties.
=>> implied-in-fact contract
=>> implied-in-law contract See also express contract
@ implied-in-fact contract
A contract based on the tacit understanding or an assumption of the parties and evidenced by the parties' conduct. For example, if a person drives her vehicle to a service station and opens the gasoline tank so that the service attendant can fill it, there is an implied promise on the part of the driver to pay for the gasoline, even if nothing is said between the driver and the attendant. Also called contract implied in fact.
See also implied-in-law contract
@ implied-in-law contract
A contractual obligation imposed by the law because of the parties' conduct or a special relationship between them or to prevent unjust enrichment. For example, when someone receives and uses goods that were intended for another, the law will impose an obligation on the recipient of the goods to pay for them. The obligation is imposed even if there is opposition or no assent from the party whom the obligation is being imposed upon. Also called contract implied in law and quasi contract.
See also implied-in-fact contract
@ installment contract
1 A contract in which the obligations of one or more parties (for example, the delivery of goods, performance of services, or payment of money) is authorized or required to be completed in a series of increments over a period of time.
2 Under the Uniform Commercial Code, a contract that authorizes or requires the delivery of goods in separate lots that will each be separately accepted. A severable contract; each delivery is, in reality, an independent contract.
@ integrated contract
One or more documents expressing one or more terms of a contract in its final form.
See also completely integrated contract, partially integrated contract, and integration.
@ oral contract
An express contract that is not in writing or has not yet been signed by the parties who will be obligated to do or not do something under its terms.
@ output contract
A contract in which a buyer agrees to purchase at a set price all quantities of a particular good or service that the seller can provide over the duration of the contract.
@ partially integrated contract
An integrated contract of which one or more of its terms is not yet in its final written form.
See also completely integrated contract
@ quasi contract
=>> implied-in-law contract
2 A name for a claim for relief for restitution, especially one for quantum meruit.
@ requirements contract
A contract in which a seller agrees to provide at a set price all quantities of a particular good or service that the buyer needs over the duration of the contract and the buyer agrees, during that time, to obtain those goods and services only from the seller.
@ sealed contract
=>> contract under seal
@ severable contract
A contract with two or more distinct components any one of which, if breached or invalidated, may be considered as an independent contract and not affect the other components of the contract and the parties' rights and obligations thereunder or put the promisor in breach of the entire contract. For example, a contract to purchase an automobile and to have a radio installed in it before delivery may be regarded as severable if the radio is not installed when the vehicle is delivered. Also called divisible contract.
See also installment contract, completely integrated contract, and severability clause.
@ standard-form contract
A contract containing set terms that is repeatedly used and usually mass produced or preprinted by a party or an industry with only a few blank spaces to be filled in and with a few predetermined alternate and optional clauses to choose from to accommodate slight additions and modifications.
@ subcontract
A contract whereby a party procures the performance of a part or all of his obligations under another contract by hiring another party to perform those obligations for him.
@ unilateral contract
A one-sided contract in which one party promises to do or not do something in exchange for the performance of an act that is not promised to be done. For example, if a reward is offered for the return of a lost watch, nobody is promising to return the watch, but if it is returned, the promisor will be required to pay the promised reward.
@ void contract
1 A contract that is not legally enforceable.
2 A contract whose terms have been completely fulfilled.
@ voidable contract
1 A contract that can be voided at the will of one or more parties. The power to void the contract is not necessarily available to all the parties of the contract. For example, a person who is under the age of capacity can reject her rights and obligations under a contract and make it void without any repercussions, but until she does so, the contract is valid. However, an adult who entered that same contract cannot void it, and any attempt to do so will be a breach of contract and make her liable for damages.
2 A contract that is void to a wrongdoer, but not to the party who is wronged unless the injured party decides to treat the contract as void.
See also void contract
@ written contract
An express contract that is written and has been signed by the parties who will be obligated to do something or not do something under its terms.
See also oral contract
@ yellow dog contract
An employment contract whereby an employee agrees, as a condition of employment, not to remain in or to join a union during the course of his employment and to quit his job if he does. Such contracts are unenforceable in federal courts and are illegal in most states.
n. A document required of an employee by the employer, as a condition of employment, in which the employee promises not to join a labor union, with penalty for breach being the termination of employment. Federal laws, including the National Labor Relations Act, have made such contracts illegal.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

An agreement between two or more persons which creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing. A legally enforceable agreement between two or more competent parties made either orally or in writing.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) n. an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration. Since the law of contracts is at the heart of most business dealings, it is one of the three or four most significant areas of legal concern and can involve variations on circumstances and complexities. The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements: a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration (which can be a promise or payment in some form); e) a time or event when performance must be made (meet commitments); f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) performance, if the contract is "unilateral". A unilateral contract is one in which there is a promise to pay or give other consideration in return for actual performance. (I will pay you $500 to fix my car by Thursday; the performance is fixing the car by that date.) A bilateral contract is one in which a promise is exchanged for a promise. (I promise to fix your car by Thursday and you promise to pay $500 on Thursday.) Contracts can be either written or oral, but oral contracts are more difficult to prove and in most jurisdictions the time to sue on the contract is shorter (such as two years for oral compared to four years for written). In some cases a contract can consist of several documents, such as a series of letters, orders, offers and counteroffers. There are a variety of types of contracts: "conditional" on an event occurring; "joint and several," in which several parties make a joint promise to perform, but each is responsible; "implied," in which the courts will determine there is a contract based on the circumstances. Parties can contract to supply all of another's requirements, buy all the products made, or enter into an option to renew a contract. The variations are almost limitless. Contracts for illegal purposes are not enforceable at law.
   2) v. to enter into an agreement.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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  • Contract — Con*tract (k[o^]n*tr[a^]kt ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Contracted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Contracting}.] [L. contractus, p. p. of contrahere to contract; con + trahere to draw: cf. F. contracter. See {Trace}, and cf. {Contract}, n.] 1. To draw together or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Contract J.A.C.K. — Contract J.A.C.K. Developer(s) Monolith Productions Publisher(s) …   Wikipedia

  • contract — n Contract, bargain, compact, pact, treaty, entente, convention, cartel, concordat designate an agreement reached after negotiation and ending in an exchange of promises between the parties concerned. Contract applies especially to a formal… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Contract J.A.C.K. — Contract J.A.C.K. Éditeur Sierra Entertainment Développeur Monolith Productions Date de sortie 11 novembre 2003 Genre FPS Mode de jeu Un joueur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • contract — Contract, Pactum, Contractus. Contracts et conventions redigées par escrit, Perscriptitiones, Syngraphae. Quand un tiers escrit un contract et obligation que deux autres sont ensemble, Syngraphum conscribere. Faire contracts et paction de quelque …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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