contract - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    legal a written legal agreement between two people or businesses that says what each must do for the other or give to the other

    After six months she was offered a contract of employment.

    The firm has won a £5 million contract to build ships for the navy.

    contract with:

    Our contract with the BBC expires next year.

    be on a contract (=have a contract to work for someone):

    Are you on a permanent or a fixed-term contract?

    be under (a) contract to someone/something (=have obligations as a result of a contract with them):

    She is still under contract to Microsoft.

    under a contract:

    Under his contract he is not allowed to work for any other publisher.

    be in breach of contract (=have done something the contract says you must not do):

    The court found that the company was in breach of contract.

    sign a contract:

    He has signed a six-year contract with Manchester United.

    enter into a contract:

    In order for it to be valid, both parties have to enter into the contract voluntarily.

    terminate a contract:

    The employer can terminate the contract of employment with immediate effect.

    subject to contract (=with no contract yet signed):

    The house has been sold subject to contract.

    award someone a contract:

    The contract for building the hospital has been awarded to a Dutch company.

  2. 2
    informal an agreement by which someone is paid to kill another person

    a contract killer/killing

    take out a contract on someone:

    She was accused of taking out a contract on her own husband.