contract

When you and someone else have agreed on something and that agreement is both binding and enforceable by law, you have a contract. When you rent an apartment, you and your future landlord sign a rental contract.

You can also use the word in this sense as a verb meaning "to hire." Wouldn't you like to contract someone to clean your room for you? In other verbal uses of contract, place the accent on the second syllable — kun-TRAKT. If you contract a disease, you catch it, but only use this if it's something serious. You catch a cold, but contract malaria. Contract also means "shrink." When the economy contracts, consumers stop buying things, and people lose their jobs, and if you freeze water, it contracts too.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: contract

1
nv
a binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law
enter into a contractual arrangement
2
v
make or become more narrow or restricted
3
v
be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness
4
n
a variety of bridge in which the bidder receives points toward game only for the number of tricks he bid
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: contract
1

n a binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law

Types:
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adhesion contract, contract of adhesion
a contract that heavily restricts one party while leaving the other free (as some standard form printed contracts); implies inequality in bargaining power
aleatory contract
a contract whose performance by one party depends on the occurrence of an uncertain contingent event (but if it is contingent on the outcome of a wager it is not enforceable)
bilateral contract
a contract involving mutual promises (each party is both promisor and promisee)
charter
a contract to hire or lease transportation
conditional contract
a contract whose performance depends on a fact or event that affects legal relations
cost-plus contract
a contract in which the contractor is paid his total cost plus a stated percentage of profit
gambling contract
a contract whose performance by one party is contingent on the outcome of a bet; unenforceable by statute in most jurisdictions
lease
a contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified time for a specified payment
marriage contract, marriage settlement
a prenuptial agreement or contract
output contract
a contract in which you promise to deliver your entire output to the other party who promises to accept it
insurance, insurance policy, policy
written contract or certificate of insurance
purchase agreement, purchase contract
a contract stating the terms of a purchase
quasi contract
a contract created by law for reasons of justice without any expression of assent
requirements contract
a contract in which you agree to purchase all your requirements of a particular sort from one party
contract under seal, sealed instrument, special contract
a contract that is signed and has the (wax) seal of the signer attached
service contract
a contract for maintenance services
severable contract
a contract which, in the event of a breach by one of the parties, can be considered as several independent agreements expressed in a single instrument
subcontract
a contract assigning to another party some obligations of a prior contract
partnership
a contract between two or more persons who agree to pool talent and money and share profits or losses
articles of agreement, shipping articles
a contract between crew and captain of a ship
concession, grant
a contract granting the right to operate a subsidiary business
collective agreement, labor agreement, labor contract
contract between labor and management governing wages and benefits and working conditions
employment agreement, employment contract
contract between employer and employee
distribution agreement
a contract governing the marketing of an item of merchandise
licensing agreement
contract giving someone the legal right to use a patent or trademark
acquisition agreement, merger agreement
contract governing the merger of two or more companies
contract of hazard, sale in gross
a sale of a tract of land as a whole without a warranty as to the acreage
indenture
a contract binding one party into the service of another for a specified term
floater, floating policy
an insurance policy covering loss of movable property (e.g. jewelry) regardless of its location
franchise
an authorization to sell a company's goods or services in a particular place
yellow-dog contract
a labor contract (now illegal) whereby the employee agrees not to join a trade union
Type of:
written agreement
a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties

v enter into a contractual arrangement

Synonyms:
undertake
Types:
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stipulate
make an oral contract or agreement in the verbal form of question and answer that is necessary to give it legal force
sign
be engaged by a written agreement
condition, qualify, specify, stipulate
specify as a condition or requirement in a contract or agreement; make an express demand or provision in an agreement
lease, rent
let for money
charter, hire, lease, rent
hold under a lease or rental agreement; of goods and services
undersign
sign at the bottom of (a document)
ink
append one's signature to
autograph, inscribe
mark with one's signature
initial
mark with one's initials
countersign
add one's signature to after another's to attest authenticity
execute
sign in the presence of witnesses
endorse, indorse
sign as evidence of legal transfer
provide
determine (what is to happen in certain contingencies), especially by including a proviso condition or stipulation
Type of:
assure, promise
make a promise or commitment

v engage by written agreement

Synonyms:
sign, sign on, sign up
Types:
contract out
assign a job to someone outside one's own business
Type of:
employ, engage, hire
engage or hire for work
2

v make or become more narrow or restricted

Synonyms:
narrow
Antonyms:
widen
become broader or wider or more extensive
Types:
bottleneck
become narrow, like a bottleneck
taper off
become smaller or less active
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v make smaller

“The heat contracted the woollen garment”
Types:
purse, wrinkle
gather or contract into wrinkles or folds; pucker
Type of:
reduce, shrink
reduce in size; reduce physically

v become smaller or draw together

Synonyms:
shrink
Antonyms:
stretch
become longer by being stretched and pulled
expand, spread out
extend in one or more directions
show more antonyms...
Types:
flex
contract
Type of:
decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
decrease in size, extent, or range

v squeeze or press together

“the spasm contracted the muscle”
Synonyms:
compact, compress, constrict, press, squeeze
Types:
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choke, strangle
constrict (someone's) throat and keep from breathing
prim
contract one's lips
astringe
constrict or bind or draw together
strangulate
constrict a hollow organ or vessel so as to stop the flow of blood or air
convulse
contract involuntarily, as in a spasm
convulse
cause to contract
bear down, overbear
contract the abdominal muscles during childbirth to ease delivery
choke, fret, gag
be too tight; rub or press
choke, scrag
wring the neck of
Type of:
tighten
become tight or tighter

v compress or concentrate

Synonyms:
concentrate, condense
condense
become more compact or concentrated
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v reduce in scope while retaining essential elements

Synonyms:
abbreviate, abridge, cut, foreshorten, reduce, shorten
cut, edit, edit out
cut and assemble the components of
Antonyms:
dilate, elaborate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
Types:
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bowdlerise, bowdlerize, castrate, expurgate, shorten
edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
concentrate, condense, digest
make more concise
capsule, capsulise, capsulize, encapsulate
put in a short or concise form; reduce in volume
telescope
make smaller or shorter
Type of:
decrease, lessen, minify
make smaller
3

v be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness

Synonyms:
get, take
catch
contract
Types:
catch
contract
catch cold
come down with a cold
Type of:
come down, sicken
get sick
4

n a variety of bridge in which the bidder receives points toward game only for the number of tricks he bid

Synonyms:
contract bridge
Types:
no-trump
a version of contract bridge in which no suit is designated as trump for the duration of the hand
Type of:
bridge
any of various card games based on whist for four players

n (contract bridge) the highest bid becomes the contract setting the number of tricks that the bidder must make

Synonyms:
declaration
Type of:
bid, bidding
(bridge) the number of tricks a bridge player is willing to contract to make

WORD FORMS

vvv
enter into a binding arrangement
make or become more narrow or restricted
be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness
1 contract
nn
a binding agreement that is enforceable by law
bridge in which the bidder receives points for tricks bid
2 contract
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