social contract


: an actual or hypothetical agreement among the members of an organized society or between a community and its ruler that defines and limits the rights and duties of each

Examples of social contract in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The facility prioritizes an inclusive, accessible environment for people of all body types and gender expressions, which starts with reading a social contract on how to show up in the gym during your first visit. Kevinisha Walker, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2024 But OpenAI’s growing public trust deficit could wind up undermining the other part of Nadella’s social contract. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 21 May 2024 Universities are part of a social contract in this country. CBS News, 19 May 2024 In the minds of their architects, the establishment of a wholly new social contract has meant renovating human nature itself. Noah Rothman, National Review, 28 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for social contract 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'social contract.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1660, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of social contract was in 1660

Dictionary Entries Near social contract

Cite this Entry

“Social contract.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Legal Definition

social contract

so·​cial contract
: an actual or hypothetical agreement among individuals forming an organized society or between the community and the ruler that defines and limits the rights and duties of each

More from Merriam-Webster on social contract

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