Definitions for contractn., adj., and usu. for v. 16–18, 22, 23 ˈkɒn trækt; otherwise v. kənˈtrækt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word contract

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

con•tractn., adj., and usu. for v. 16–18, 22, 23 ˈkɒn trækt; otherwise v. kənˈtrækt(n.)

  1. an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified.

  2. an agreement enforceable by law.

    Category: Law

  3. the written form of such an agreement.

    Category: Law

  4. the division of law dealing with contracts.

    Category: Law

  5. Also called con′tract 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.

    Category: Games

  6. (in auction or contract bridge) a commitment by the declaring team to take six tricks plus the number specified by the final bid made. the final bid itself. the number of tricks so specified, plus six.

    Category: Games

  7. the formal agreement of marriage; betrothal.

  8. Slang. an arrangement for a hired assassin to kill a specific person.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  9. (adj.)under contract; governed or arranged by special contract:

    a contract carrier.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  10. (v.t.)to draw together or into smaller compass; draw the parts of together:

    to contract a muscle.

  11. to wrinkle:

    to contract the brows.

  12. to shorten (a word, phrase, etc.) by combining or omitting some of its elements.

    Category: Grammar

  13. to make narrow or illiberal; restrict.

  14. to get, as by exposure to something contagious:

    to contract a disease.

  15. to incur, as a liability or obligation:

    to contract a debt.

  16. to settle or establish by agreement:

    to contract an alliance.

  17. to assign (a job, work, project, etc.) by contract.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  18. to enter into an agreement with:

    to contract a freelancer to do the work.

  19. to enter into (friendship, acquaintance, etc.).

  20. to betroth.

  21. (v.i.)to become drawn together or reduced in compass; become smaller; shrink:

    His pupils contracted in the light.

  22. to enter into an agreement.

  23. contract out, to hire an outside contractor to produce or do; subcontract.

    Category: Verb Phrase, Commerce

Origin of contract:

1275–1325; (n.) ME (< AF) < L contractus the undertaking of a transaction, an agreement =contrac-, var. s. of contrahere to draw in, bring together, enter into an agreement (con-con - +trahere to drag, pull; cf. traction ) + -tus suffix of v. action; (v.) < L contractus, ptp. of contrahere



Princeton's WordNet

  1. contract(noun)

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

  2. contract, declaration(noun)

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

  3. contract, contract bridge(verb)

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

  4. contract, undertake(verb)

    enter into a contractual arrangement

  5. sign, contract, sign on, sign up(verb)

    engage by written agreement

    "They signed two new pitchers for the next season"

  6. compress, constrict, squeeze, compact, contract, press(verb)

    squeeze or press together

    "she compressed her lips"; "the spasm contracted the muscle"

  7. contract, take, get(verb)

    be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness

    "He got AIDS"; "She came down with pneumonia"; "She took a chill"

  8. shrink, contract(verb)

    become smaller or draw together

    "The fabric shrank"; "The balloon shrank"

  9. contract(verb)

    make smaller

    "The heat contracted the woollen garment"

  10. condense, concentrate, contract(verb)

    compress or concentrate

    "Congress condensed the three-year plan into a six-month plan"

  11. narrow, contract(verb)

    make or become more narrow or restricted

    "The selection was narrowed"; "The road narrowed"

  12. abridge, foreshorten, abbreviate, shorten, cut, contract, reduce(verb)

    reduce in scope while retaining essential elements

    "The manuscript must be shortened"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. contract(noun)–18, 22, 23 ˈkɒn trækt; otherwise v. kənˈtrækt

    a written legal agreement between people

    to sign a contract; She was offered a two-year contract with the company.; the terms of the contract

  2. contract(verb)–18, 22, 23 ˈkɒn trækt; otherwise v. kənˈtrækt

    ≠ expand

    The rubber ring will contract in cool water.

  3. contract–18, 22, 23 ˈkɒn trækt; otherwise v. kənˈtrækt

    to hire sb or be hired to do sth

    We contracted to deliver the bricks.

  4. contract–18, 22, 23 ˈkɒn trækt; otherwise v. kənˈtrækt

    to get a disease or illness

    to contract malaria

Webster Dictionary

  1. Contract(noun)

    to draw together or nearer; to reduce to a less compass; to shorten, narrow, or lessen; as, to contract one's sphere of action

  2. Contract(noun)

    to draw together so as to wrinkle; to knit

  3. Contract(noun)

    to bring on; to incur; to acquire; as, to contract a habit; to contract a debt; to contract a disease

  4. Contract(noun)

    to enter into, with mutual obligations; to make a bargain or covenant for

  5. Contract(noun)

    to betroth; to affiance

  6. Contract(noun)

    to shorten by omitting a letter or letters or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one

  7. Contract(verb)

    to be drawn together so as to be diminished in size or extent; to shrink; to be reduced in compass or in duration; as, iron contracts in cooling; a rope contracts when wet

  8. Contract(verb)

    to make an agreement; to covenant; to agree; to bargain; as, to contract for carrying the mail

  9. Contract(adj)

    contracted; as, a contract verb

  10. Contract(adj)

    contracted; affianced; betrothed

  11. Contract(noun)

    the agreement of two or more persons, upon a sufficient consideration or cause, to do, or to abstain from doing, some act; an agreement in which a party undertakes to do, or not to do, a particular thing; a formal bargain; a compact; an interchange of legal rights

  12. Contract(noun)

    a formal writing which contains the agreement of parties, with the terms and conditions, and which serves as a proof of the obligation

  13. Contract(noun)

    the act of formally betrothing a man and woman


  1. Contract

    A contract is an agreement having a lawful object entered into voluntarily by two or more parties, each of whom intends to create one or more legal obligations between them. The elements of a contract are "offer" and "acceptance" by "competent persons" having legal capacity who exchange "consideration" to create "mutuality of obligation." Proof of some or all of these elements may be done in writing, though contracts may be made entirely orally or by conduct. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" in the form of compensation of money or specific performance enforced through an injunction. Both of these remedies award the party at loss the "benefit of the bargain" or expectation damages, which are greater than mere reliance damages, as in promissory estoppel. The parties may be natural persons or juristic persons. A contract is a legally enforceable promise or undertaking that something will or will not occur. The word promise can be used as a legal synonym for contract, although care is required as a promise may not have the full standing of a contract, as when it is an agreement without consideration. Contract law varies greatly from one jurisdiction to another, including differences in common law compared to civil law, the impact of received law, particularly from England in common law countries, and of law codified in regional legislation. Regarding Australian Contract Law for example, there are 40 relevant acts which impact on the interpretation of contract at the Commonwealth level, and an additional 26 acts at the level of the state of NSW. In addition there are 6 international instruments or conventions which are applicable for international dealings, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contract' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #867

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contract' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1156

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contract' in Nouns Frequency: #249

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contract' in Verbs Frequency: #822

Translations for contract

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to make or become smaller, less, shorter, tighter etc

Metals expand when heated and contract when cooled; `I am' is often contracted to `I'm'; Muscles contract.

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