contract: Meaning and Definition of
Pronunciation: (n., adj.,and usually for v. 16–18, 22, 23 kon'trakt otherwise v. k&schwan&sylptrakt'), [key]
- an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified.
- an agreement enforceable by law.
- the written form of such an agreement.
- the division of law dealing with contracts.
- 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. Cf. auction bridge.
- (in auction or contract bridge)
- a commitment by the declarer and his or her partner 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.
- the formal agreement of marriage; betrothal.
- an arrangement for a hired assassin to kill a specific person.
- to hire or attempt to hire an assassin to kill (someone): The mob put out a contract on the informer.
- under contract; governed or arranged by special contract: a contract carrier.
- to draw together or into smaller compass; draw the parts of together: to contract a muscle.
- to wrinkle: to contract the brows.
- to shorten (a word, phrase, etc.) by combining or omitting some of its elements: Contracting “do not” yields “don't.”
- to get or acquire, as by exposure to something contagious: to contract a disease.
- to incur, as a liability or obligation: to contract a debt.
- to settle or establish by agreement: to contract an alliance.
- to assign (a job, work, project, etc.) by contract: The publisher contracted the artwork.
- to enter into an agreement with: to contract a free-lancer to do the work.
- to enter into (friendship, acquaintance, etc.).
- to betroth.
- to become drawn together or reduced in compass; become smaller; shrink: The pupils of his eyes contracted in the light.
- to enter into an agreement: to contract for snow removal.
- to hire an outside contractor to produce or do.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.