1 noun (C)
1 a formal written agreement between two or more people, which says what each person must do for the other: His contract of employment specifies that he must get at least one month's training.
(+ with): Tyler has just agreed a seven year contract with a Hollywood studio. | sign a contract: Read the contract carefully before you sign it. | enter into a contract: They have just entered into a lucrative contract with a clothing store. | be on a contract/be under contract (=be working for someone with whom you have a contract) | be in breach of contract (=have done something that is not allowed by the contract): If they don't get the test version of the software to us by tomorrow they'll be in breach of contract.
2 subject to contract if an agreement is subject to contract, it has not yet been agreed formally by a contract: We've agreed to their offer on our house, subject to contract.
3 informal an agreement to kill a person for money: There is a contract out on him and he's in hiding.
2 verb
1 (I) to become smaller or narrower: Metal contracts as it becomes cool. | The economy continues to contract, raising fears of further political problems.
-opposite expand (1)
2 (T) formal to begin to have an illness: He contracted pneumonia.
3 contract to do sth to sign a contract in which you agree formally that you will do something: They contracted to work fixed hours each week.
4 contract a marriage/alliance etc to agree formally that you will marry someone or have a particular kind of relationship with them: Most of the marriages were contracted when the brides were very young.
contract in phrasal verb (I) formal especially BrE to agree or promise, especially officially, to take part in something: They contracted in to the share deal. contract out phrasal verb
1 (transitive contract something out) to arrange to have a job done by a person or company outside your own organization: The company has contracted the catering out to an outside firm.
2 (intransitive + of) formal especially BrE to agree or promise, especially officially, not to take part in something such as a pension scheme

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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