Pronunciation: /ˈkɒntrakt /
- 1A written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law: he has just signed a contract keeping him with the club [mass noun]: much of the produce is grown under contractMore example sentences
- Within 28 days of signing your contract of employment you should have received a copy of the disciplinary procedure.
- Every employee must be given a contract of employment.
- When an agreement is reached with the owner, a private contract is written and signed.
- 1.1 [mass noun] The branch of law concerned with the making and observation of contracts: the law of contractMore example sentences
- Most of these cases would today be regarded as falling under the law of contract, not tort.
- The validity of the contracts and of the acts done was governed entirely by the law of contract, not by the statutes.
- That relationship is governed by the ordinary rules of the law of contract.
- 1.2 • informal An arrangement for someone to be killed by a hired assassin: smuggling bosses routinely put out contracts on witnessesMore example sentences
- When he can't succeed in killing himself, he hires a contract killer to carry out the job for him.
- For example, a serial killer and a contract killer both kill lots of people, but the crimes are essentially different.
- Then a solution presents itself: why not hire a contract killer?
- 1.3 Bridge The declarer’s undertaking to win the number of tricks bid with a stated suit as trumps: South can make the contract with correct playMore example sentences
- The team that won the auction but did not make enough tricks to make the contract gets the score of the lower scoring team.
- When bidding a contract with a minor suit as trumps, the suit is not mentioned.
- After a contract on the bid is made, the declarer decides whether to set the rank for that hand high or low.
- 1.4 • dated A formal agreement to marry: the contract between the Bride and the Bridegroom was renewedMore example sentences
- They both meet each other and make a contract to marry.
- A contract of marriage may be made through agents acting ad hoc on behalf of the bride and bridegroom themselves, or of their guardians.
- After this outburst, the Emperor applied to be released from his contract to wed the Princess Mary, who was still an infant.
Pronunciation: /kənˈtrakt /Back to top
- 1 [no object] Decrease in size, number, or range: glass contracts as it coolsMore example sentences
- In the case of the Sun or some similar large object, as it contracts there is a decrease in its gravitational energy because the composite matter is moving closer to the middle, and that energy has to go somewhere.
- The deer's range later contracted to the Ural Mountains, in modern-day Russia, which separate Europe from Asia.
- On cooling it contracts to a smaller dimension, thus reducing the area of contact and allowing oxide to form at the interface.
- 1.1(Of a muscle) become shorter and tighter in order to effect movement of part of the body: the heart contracts about seventy times a minute [with object]: exhale and slowly contract your abdominal musclesMore example sentences
- This stimulation causes electrical activity in the muscle, which in turn causes the muscle to contract or tighten.
- It increases the heart rate, makes muscles contract more forcefully and enhances the general state of alertness.
- For example, as an individual lands from a jump, the quadriceps muscle contracts, protecting the knee.
- 1.2 [with object] Shorten (a word or phrase) by combination or elision: these sources were called quasistellar objects, which was soon contracted to quasarMore example sentences
- I haven't checked the audio to see whether ‘is’ was contracted or not in those examples.
- Incidentally, Hocus Pocus was itself contracted during the eighteenth century into the word ‘Hoax.’
- The various sources consulted differ in its further evolution; some say the word was contracted further to aan't, others say an't (pronounced ahnt).
- 2 [no object] Enter into a formal and legally binding agreement: the local authority will contract with a wide range of agencies to provide servicesMore example sentences
- Now with open access, the mining companies wish to handle the traffics themselves, or contract with third parties.
- Vendors contract with one of nine independent laboratory-testing facilities.
- He told how they contract with area farmers to guarantee a steady supply.
- 2.1 (contract in/into) British Choose to be involved in (a scheme): politically committed members contract into paying the levyMore example sentences
- The new changes serve to increase flexibility and pastoral support for students contracted into the scheme.
- 2.2 (contract out) British Choose to withdraw from or not become involved in a scheme: plans to encourage people to contract out of the pension schemeMore example sentences
- They gave us tax relief on the money going in, and they took my National Insurance Contributions, while encouraging pension schemes to contract out of Serps.
- About six million people were encouraged to contract out of the state scheme by the carrot of generous contracting out rebates.
- It would be possible to contract out into approved occupational schemes.
- 2.3Secure specified rights or undertake specified obligations in a formal and legally binding agreement: a buyer may contract for the right to withhold payment [with infinitive]: the paper had contracted to publish extracts from the diariesMore example sentences
- I mean, it's just not on, it's not the real world, and when you contract for something you expect to pay that price, and you expect to get it on time.
- That is, you could contract for how many calls you would receive, and what kind of calls.
- In October 1986 the government introduced the Goods and Services Tax charged on almost everything you buy or contract for.
- 2.4 [with object and infinitive] Impose an obligation on (someone) to do something by means of a formal agreement: health authorities contract a hospital to treat a specific number of patientsMore example sentences
- If a local authority contracts a builder to construct a certain amount of houses they must pay the full cost not just a deposit.
- Channel Seven contracted an outside lawyer to work up a draft agreement and has refused to negotiate on anything falling outside its scope.
- He complained about the wild dogs and the National Parks & Wildlife Service contracted a local man to trap and shoot the dogs.
- 2.5 [with object] (contract something out) Arrange for work to be done by another organization: local authorities will have to contract out waste managementMore example sentences
- At my workplace, food and housekeeping services have been contracted out to subsidiaries of Compass Group, a British multinational corporation.
- Other courses have been contracted out to private suppliers.
- The university proposed that current staff positions could be contracted out with four months' notice, a proposal which made the staff feel threatened.
- 2.6 [with object] Formally enter into (a marriage): kings obtained dispensations to enable them to contract politically advantageous matchesMore example sentences
- The infatuated prince subsequently caused an international incident by contracting a bigamous marriage with her.
- In the countryside, on the contrary, more hands were needed to work the fields in grain-growing regions, and males contracted marriages at younger ages to increase the rural labour supply.
- The queen's cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, married in a civil ceremony in Vienna, but no member of the royal family has ever contracted a civil marriage in Britain.
- 2.7 [with object] Enter into (a friendship or other relationship): the patterns of social relationships contracted by men and women differMore example sentences
- How could Heidi have been aware that she was contracting marriage - the requirement for valid consent - if she thought that she was merely contracting an engagement?
- However, the ease with which a women can contract sexual liaisons does not directly translate into a socially sanctioned pregnancy and birth.
- To contract a friendship, I'll have to have an idea what I think is important in a friendship.
- 3 [with object] Catch or develop (a disease or infectious agent): three people contracted a killer virusMore example sentences
- If you think you've contracted an infectious disease, contact your doctor.
- Two other patients are critically ill after contracting the disease through infected organs from the donor.
- His early education was restricted by severe asthma and he contracted tuberculosis when he started medical school.
- 4 [with object] Become liable to pay (a debt): he contracted a debt of £3,300More example sentences
- As stated earlier, much of the debt was contracted by undemocratic governments and oppressive regimes.
- He says that he contracted the debt on behalf of the ruling party.
- How unjust to do so by pillaging the church, an institution that was neither responsible for contracting the debt nor had benefited from the deficit expenditures.
- More example sentences
- You should see who the contractors and contractees really are most of the time.
- The contracts are said to avoid the need for legal action and can encourage the contractee to change his or her behaviour by facing up to what they have done.
- No apparent attempt was made to identify or exclude industry consultants, contractees, or grantees.
- More example sentences
- We began by having a heated discussion on the use of apostrophes and whether the contractive use and the possessive use can be combined.
- While the action of Jupiter and Saturn may seem contradictory, they represent a balance between the continually expansive and contractive forces that naturally dance in this dualistic universe.
- Like the previous budgets of the past seven years, the spending plan is austere and is even likely to have a contractive effect on the economy.
Middle English: via Old French from Latin contractus, from contract- 'drawn together, tightened', from the verb contrahere, from con- 'together' + trahere 'draw'.