noun \ˈkän-ˌtrakt\

: a legal agreement between people, companies, etc.

: a document on which the words of a contract are written

: an agreement to kill a person for money

Full Definition of CONTRACT

a :  a binding agreement between two or more persons or parties; especially :  one legally enforceable
b :  a business arrangement for the supply of goods or services at a fixed price <make parts on contract>
c :  the act of marriage or an agreement to marry
:  a document describing the terms of a contract
:  the final bid to win a specified number of tricks in bridge
:  an order or arrangement for a hired assassin to kill someone <his enemies put out a contract on him>

Examples of CONTRACT

  1. The contract requires him to finish work by the end of the year.
  2. I tore up the contract.
  3. Have you signed the contract yet?

Origin of CONTRACT

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin contractus, from contrahere to draw together, make a contract, reduce in size, from com- + trahere to draw
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite


verb \vt 2a & vi 1 usually ˈkän-ˌtrakt, others usually kən-ˈ\

: to make (something) smaller or shorter

: to become smaller

: to become ill with (a disease)

Full Definition of CONTRACT

transitive verb
a :  to bring on oneself especially inadvertently :  incur <contracting debts>
b :  to become affected with <contract pneumonia>
a :  to establish or undertake by contract <contract a job>
b :  betroth; also :  to establish (a marriage) formally
c (1) :  to hire by contract <contract a lawyer>
(2) :  to purchase (as goods or services) on a contract basis —often used with out
a :  limit, restrict <contract the scope of their activities>
b :  knit, wrinkle <frown contracted his brow>
c :  to draw together :  concentrate
:  to reduce to smaller size by or as if by squeezing or forcing together <contract a muscle>
:  to shorten (as a word) by omitting one or more sounds or letters
intransitive verb
:  to make a contract
:  to draw together so as to become diminished in size <metal contracts on cooling>; also :  to become less in compass, duration, or length <muscle contracts in tetanus>
con·tract·ibil·i·ty \kən-ˌtrak-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē, ˌkän-\ noun
con·tract·ible \kən-ˈtrak-tə-bəl, ˈkän-ˌ\ adjective

Examples of CONTRACT

  1. She contracted her lips into a frown.
  2. The muscle expands and then contracts.
  3. The hot metal contracted as it cooled.

Origin of CONTRACT

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French contracter to agree upon, from Latin contractus
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of CONTRACT

contract, shrink, condense, compress, constrict, deflate mean to decrease in bulk or volume. contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length <caused her muscles to contract>. shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions <the sweater will shrink when washed>. condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content <condense the essay into a paragraph>. compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance <compressed cotton into bales>. constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter <the throat is constricted by a tight collar>. deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas <deflate the balloon>.



Definition of CONTRACT

:  hired to execute a contract <a contract worker> <a contract killer>

First Known Use of CONTRACT



transitive verb \kən-ˈtrakt also ˈkän-ˌtrakt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CONTRACT

: to become affected with <contract pneumonia>
: to reduce to smaller size by or as if by squeezing or drawing together <treatment…inhibits spindle formation and contracts chromosomes—Ernst Mayr>
of a muscle or muscle fiber : to cause to undergo contraction; especially : to cause to shorten and thicken
intransitive verb
: to draw together so as to become diminished in size
of a muscle or muscle fiber : to undergo contraction; especially : to shorten and thicken
con·tract·ibil·i·ty \kən-ˌtrak-tə-ˈbil-ət-ē, ˌkän-\ noun, plural con·tract·ibil·i·ties
con·tract·ible \kən-ˈtrak-tə-bəl, ˈkän-ˌ\ adjective


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Agreement between two or more parties that creates for each party a duty to do something (e.g., to provide goods at a certain price according to a specified schedule) or a duty not to do something (e.g., to divulge an employer's trade secrets or financial status to third parties). A party's failure to honour a contract allows the other party or parties to bring an action for damages in a court of law, though arbitration may also be pursued in an effort to keep the matter confidential. In order to be valid, a contract must be entered into both willingly and freely. A contract that violates this principle, including one made with a legal minor or a person deemed mentally incompetent, may be declared unenforceable. A contract also must have a lawful objective.


Next Word in the Dictionary: contractable
Previous Word in the Dictionary: contraclockwise
All Words Near: contract

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