n., adj., and usu. for v. 16–18, 22, 23 [[t]ˈkɒn trækt[/t]] otherwise v. [[t]kənˈtrækt[/t]] n.
1) an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified
2) law an agreement enforceable by law
3) law the written form of such an agreement
4) law the division of law dealing with contracts
5) gam 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
6) gam (in auction or contract bridge)
a) a commitment by the declaring team to take six tricks plus the number specified by the final bid made
b) the final bid itself
c) the number of tricks so specified, plus six
7) the formal agreement of marriage; betrothal
8) cvb Slang. an arrangement for a hired assassin to kill a specific person
9) cvb under contract; governed or arranged by special contract:
a contract carrier[/ex]
10) to draw together or into smaller compass; draw the parts of together:
to contract a muscle[/ex]
11) to wrinkle:
to contract the brows[/ex]
12) gram. to shorten (a word, phrase, etc.) by combining or omitting some of its elements
13) to make narrow or illiberal; restrict
14) to get, as by exposure to something contagious:
to contract a disease[/ex]
15) to incur, as a liability or obligation:
to contract a debt[/ex]
16) to settle or establish by agreement:
to contract an alliance[/ex]
17) cvb to assign (a job, work, project, etc.) by contract
18) to enter into an agreement with:
to contract a freelancer to do the work[/ex]
19) to enter into (friendship, acquaintance, etc.)
20) to betroth
21) to become drawn together or reduced in compass; become smaller; shrink:
His pupils contracted in the light[/ex]
22) to enter into an agreement
23) phv com contract out, to hire an outside contractor to produce or do; subcontract
Etymology: 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) +-tussuffix of v. action; (v.) < Lcontractus, ptp. of contrahere con`tract•ee′, n. con•tract′i•ble, adj. con•tract`i•bil′i•ty, con•tract′i•ble•ness, n.

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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