A voluntary, deliberate, and legally binding agreement between two or more competent parties. Contracts are usually written but may be spoken or implied, and generally have to do with employment, sale or lease, or tenancy.
A contractual relationship is evidenced by (1) an offer, (2) acceptance of the offer, and a (3) valid (legal and valuable) consideration. Each party to a contract acquires rights and duties relative to the rights and duties of the other parties. However, while all parties may expect a fair benefit from the contract (otherwise courts may set it aside as inequitable) it does not follow that each party will benefit to an equal extent. Existence of contractual-relationship does not necessarily mean the contract is enforceable, or that it is not void (see void contract) or voidable (see voidable Contract). Contracts are normally enforceable whether or not in a written form, although a written contract protects all parties to it. Some contracts, (such as for sale of real property, installment plans, or insurance policies) must be in writing to be legally binding and enforceable. Other contracts (see implied in fact contract and implied in law contract) are assumed in, and enforced by, law whether or not the involved parties desired to enter into a contract.
Use contract in a sentence
The lawyer outlined the terms and conditions of the new company's contract with their supplier to ensure that both sides were benefiting from the arrangement.
Any time you sign a contract you must make sure to follow through with it completely to keep your reputation in tact.
The inexperienced high school grad, perhaps too hastily, signed the contract on his expensive, new car - all without reading the fine print.