contract
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈkɒntɹækt/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈkɑntɹækt/
Noun

contract (plural contracts)

  1. An agreement between two or more parties, to perform a specific job or work order, often temporary or of fixed duration and usually governed by a written agreement.
    Marriage is a contract.
  2. (legal) An agreement which the law will enforce in some way. A legally binding contract must contain at least one promise, i.e., a commitment or offer, by an offeror to and accepted by an offeree to do something in the future. A contract is thus executory rather than executed.
  3. (legal) A part of legal studies dealing with laws and jurisdiction related to contracts.
  4. (informal) An order, usually given to a hired assassin, to kill someone.
    The mafia boss put a contract out on the man who betrayed him.
  5. (bridge) The declarer's undertaking to win the number of tricks bid with a stated suit as trump.
Synonyms Translations Adjective

contract (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Contracted; affianced; betrothed.
  2. (obsolete) Not abstract; concrete.
Pronunciation
  • enPR: kəntrăkt, IPA: /kənˈtɹækt/
Verb

contract (contracts, present participle contracting; past and past participle contracted)

  1. (ambitransitive) To draw together or nearer; to shorten, narrow, or lessen.
    The snail's body contracted into its shell.
    to contract one's sphere of action
    • Years contracting to a moment.
    • In all things desuetude doth contract and narrow our faculties.
  2. (grammar) To shorten by omitting a letter or letters or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one.
    The word "cannot" is often contracted into "can't".
  3. (transitive) To enter into a contract with.
  4. (transitive) To enter into, with mutual obligations; to make a bargain or covenant for.
    • We have contracted an inviolable amity, peace, and league with the aforesaid queen.
    • Many persons […] had contracted marriage within the degrees of consanguinity […] prohibited by law.
  5. (intransitive) To make an agreement or contract; to covenant; to agree; to bargain.
    to contract for carrying the mail
  6. (transitive) To bring on; to incur; to acquire.
    She contracted the habit of smoking in her teens.
    to contract a debt
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, Epistle to Mr. Jervas
      Each from each contract new strength and light.
    • c. 1703-1720, Jonathan Swift, An Essay on the Fates of Clergymen
      That kind of behaviour, which we contract by having too much conversation with persons of high station.
  7. (transitive) To gain or acquire (an illness).
    • 1999, Davidson C. Umeh, Protect Your Life: A Health Handbook for Law Enforcement Professionals, page 69:
      An officer contracted hepatitis B and died after handling the blood-soaked clothing of a homicide victim […]
  8. To draw together so as to wrinkle; to knit.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      Thou didst contract and purse thy brow.
  9. To betroth; to affiance.
    • c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, / Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations


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