a gentleman's agreement

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gentleman's agreement

A legally non-binding arrangement that is guaranteed only by a verbal or mutually understood agreement by the parties involved. Though my father left me his entire estate in his will, I made a gentleman's agreement with my brother to share the wealth equally between us.
See also: agreement
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a gentleman's agreement


a gentlemen's agreement

A gentleman's agreement or a gentlemen's agreement is an informal agreement that is not written down but in which people trust one another to do what they have promised. We had no contract; it was done by a gentleman's agreement. I'm hoping we can come to a gentlemen's agreement, Colonel.
See also: agreement
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a gentleman's agreement

an arrangement or understanding which is based on the trust of both or all parties, rather than being legally binding.
1991 Charles Anderson Grain: Entrepreneurs There had been a ‘gentleman's agreement’ by the Grain Growers not to enter the markets of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool's predecessor.
See also: agreement
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a ˌgentleman’s aˈgreement

(also a ˌgentlemen’s aˈgreement) an agreement, a contract, etc. in which nothing is written down because both people trust each other not to break it: ‘Why don’t you tell him you don’t want to sell it now?’ ‘I can’t possibly. It was a gentleman’s agreement and I must keep to it.’
See also: agreement
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
The European Parliament will insist on quickly making the deal reached between the European Union and Britainon divorce terms legally binding, worried London may not honour a gentleman's agreement, the parliament's chief Brexit coordinator said.
There is a gentleman's agreement that in the big glamour friendlies, which attract huge crowds and generate income for the clubs, we should receive the SPL going rate.
Drucker's managing director David Scott said: "This is something we have done for a few years as a gentleman's agreement, but this year we found we didn't have the capacity to produce 4,500 mince pies."
''We are not aware that a gentleman's agreement has existed,'' the top government spokesman told a press conference at the premier's office.
"I thought we made a gentleman's agreement when I accepted a four-year package in 1998.
In that campaign, England bid despite a gentleman's agreement they had with UEFA countries not to stand against Germany.
"I don't want to keep going back on this but it makes me sad how English people talk about a gentleman's agreement and don't carry it out."