an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified.
an agreement enforceable by law.
the written form of an agreement enforceable by law.
the division of law dealing with contracts.
Also called contract bridge . a variety of bridge in which the side that wins the bid can earn toward game only that number of tricks named in the contract, additional points being credited above the line.: Compare auction bridge.
(in auction or contract bridge)
a commitment by the declarer and their partner to take six tricks plus the number specified by the final bid made.
the final bid that specifies the number of tricks to which players must commit.
the number of tricks to which players are committed, plus six.
the formal agreement of marriage; betrothal.
Slang. an arrangement for a hired assassin to kill a specific person.
under an agreement enforceable by law; governed or arranged by special legal agreement: As a contract carrier with us, you'll have access to more loads than with any other provider in North America.
to draw together; make shorter, thinner, narrower, etc.: In order to contract a muscle, the opposite muscle group has to be relaxed.
to shorten (a word, phrase, etc.) by combining or omitting some of its elements: Contracting “do not” yields “don't.”
to get or acquire, as by exposure to something contagious: I contracted malaria but didn't recognize the symptoms at first.
to incur, as a liability or obligation: He was very extravagant at college, and contracted many debts.
to settle or establish by agreement: Bismarck contracted an alliance with Austria to counteract Russian designs in Eastern Europe.
to assign (a job, work, project, etc.) by contract: The publisher contracted the artwork.
to enter into an agreement with:We contracted a freelancer to do the editing.
to enter into (friendship, acquaintance, etc.).
to wrinkle: to contract the brows.
to become reduced in length, width, thickness, etc., by drawing together; become smaller: The pupils of his eyes contracted in the light.
to enter into an agreement: We contracted to have the books printed and bound by Willow Press.
contract out, to hire an outside contractor to produce or do.
Idioms about contract
put out a contract on, Slang. to hire or attempt to hire an assassin to kill (someone): The mob put out a contract on the informer.
- con·tract·ee [kon-trak-tee], /ˌkɒn trækˈti/, noun
- con·tract·i·ble, adjective
- con·tract·i·bil·i·ty [kuhn-trak-tuh-bil-i-tee], /kənˌtræk təˈbɪl ɪ ti/, con·tract·i·ble·ness, noun
- con·tract·i·bly, adverb
- non·con·tract, adjective
- o·ver·con·tract, verb (used with object)
- post·con·tract, noun
- re·con·tract, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use contract in a sentence
When that contract expired, the Secret Service signed another for 16 more nights, until April 15, according to copies of the contracts released by the Secret Service.Trump’s businesses charged Secret Service more than $1.1 million, including for rooms in club shuttered for pandemic | David Fahrenthold, Josh Dawsey | September 17, 2020 | Washington Post
From revised search warrant protocols to contracting social workers, the policy changes are a start but could go much further.The policing reforms in the Breonna Taylor settlement, explained | Fabiola Cineas | September 17, 2020 | Vox
They don’t have a ton of room to maneuver, either, with the contracts they’re still on the hook for.
The relatively small Air Force contracts aren’t for the actual delivery of a finished supersonic aircraft.Air Force transport jets for VIPs could have a supersonic future | Rob Verger | September 10, 2020 | Popular-Science
This is a questionable claim, because EU privacy law allows data transfers to anywhere as long as they are “necessary” to fulfill the contract between the user and provider—and the processing of emails is pretty fundamental for an email service.Time is running out for Big Tech’s monetization of Europeans’ personal data | David Meyer | September 10, 2020 | Fortune
Michigan supposedly offered 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh a $42 million contract, which would him the highest-paid coach in the NCAA.Is Any College Football Coach Worth $60 Million? Jim Harbaugh Is | Jesse Lawrence | December 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A 1907 contract leases the plot of land to the Belgika corporation for five years, but it stayed for much longer.
The Senate Intelligence Committee report says they secured a contract with the CIA in 2006 valued “in excess of $180 million.”The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built | Michael Daly | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I knew only that the hit was commissioned; the man who took the contract was a specialist.
Meanwhile, Marino promises “radical changes” and vows to check every contract the city has—to see if they are valid.The Mayor Who Took Down the Mafia That Ruined Rome | Barbie Latza Nadeau | December 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But for the most part property, contract and the coercive state were fundamental assumptions with the classicists.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
Though a minor cannot make such a contract, yet if property comes into his possession he must exercise proper care of it.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
It was claimed, as we have seen, that under free contract a man was paid what he earned and no law could make it more.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
The outlines of the contract they have sent me down, which I think is on very fair terms.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2) | Francis Trevithick
He can act only as the agent of the other party when the terms of the contract are settled and he is instructed to finish it.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
British Dictionary definitions for contract
to make or become smaller, narrower, shorter, etc: metals contract as the temperature is reduced
(ˈkɒntrækt) (when intr, sometimes foll by for; when tr, may take an infinitive) to enter into an agreement with (a person, company, etc) to deliver (goods or services) or to do (something) on mutually agreed and binding terms, often in writing
to draw or be drawn together; coalesce or cause to coalesce
(tr) to acquire, incur, or become affected by (a disease, liability, debt, etc)
(tr) to shorten (a word or phrase) by the omission of letters or syllables, usually indicated in writing by an apostrophe
phonetics to unite (two vowels) or (of two vowels) to be united within a word or at a word boundary so that a new long vowel or diphthong is formed
(tr) to wrinkle or draw together (the brow or a muscle)
(tr) to arrange (a marriage) for; betroth
a formal agreement between two or more parties
a document that states the terms of such an agreement
the branch of law treating of contracts
marriage considered as a formal agreement
See contract bridge
(in the bidding sequence before play) the highest bid, which determines trumps and the number of tricks one side must try to make
the number and suit of these tricks
a criminal agreement to kill a particular person in return for an agreed sum of money
(as modifier): a contract killing
- contractible, adjective
- contractibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cultural definitions for contract
A legally binding agreement between two or more parties.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.