Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to agreement: Partnership agreement
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

agreement in principle

An agreement in which the general terms or conditions of a deal are accepted without the complete details having been specified or necessarily agreed upon. There was an agreement in principle that the government would cover the cost of building a new school, but so far we haven't seen a clear proposal on how this would be accomplished.
See also: agreement, principle

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

in agreement (with someone or something)

In harmony with someone or something; matching someone or something. Are you two in agreement about having pizza for dinner? The suspect's statement is not in agreement with the information witnesses have given us.
See also: agreement, someone


1. Fixed; inflexible; unbreakable. But not playing ball in the house is one of Mom's ironclad rules! I think any lawyer will have a hard time getting you out of that contract—it's ironclad.
2. Unable to be contradicted. I didn't even know what to say in response to the ironclad argument made by the opposing counsel.

reach an accord

To achieve some agreement, settlement, or compromise (with someone), especially after a period of debate, argument, negotiation, etc. The state prosecutors say they have reached an accord with the CEO regarding his suspected involvement in racketeering. The heads of state reached an accord to implement a new trade deal between the six countries.
See also: accord, reach

reach an agreement

To achieve some accord, settlement, or compromise (with someone), especially after a period of debate, argument, negotiation, etc. The state prosecutors say they have reached an agreement with the CEO regarding his suspected involvement in racketeering. The heads of state reached an agreement to implement a new trade deal between the six countries.
See also: agreement, reach

reach an agreement with (someone)

To achieve some accord, settlement, or compromise with someone, especially after a period of debate, argument, negotiation, etc. The state prosecutors say they have reached an agreement with the CEO regarding his suspected involvement in the racketeering allegations.
See also: agreement, reach

sweetheart agreement

1. An industrial agreement made between an employer and local labor union officials containing terms beneficial to the employer without the knowledge of the employees, typically in exchange for money to the union or its leaders. It was later discovered that the union leader had made a sweetheart agreement with the company that eliminated employees' right to strike in exchange for a hefty yearly bonus for himself. The automotive manufacturer decided to move its factories to a different country, where it established a sweetheart agreement with the local labor union to pay workers substantially less than those previously enjoyed by American employees.
2. Any kind of agreement or contract that is mutually beneficial two the two parties directly involved, typically at the expense of a third party that is not privy to the agreement. It turns out the athletic director had in place a sweetheart agreement with the national athletics association, essentially receiving kickbacks every time one of his athletes performed well. The charity has come under fire for what some are calling a sweetheart agreement with a for-profit events organizer that receives nearly 40% of the annual donations the charity receives.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

in agreement

(with someone or something) in conformity with someone or something; agreeing with someone or something. We are in total agreement. I am in agreement with your proposal.
See also: agreement

reach an accord (with someone)

 and reach an agreement (with someone)
to come to an agreement with someone. I hope that we can reach an accord with the union so work can start again. We will try one more time to reach an agreement with you. We reached an agreement and signed a contract.
See also: accord, reach

sweetheart agreement

 and sweetheart deal
a private agreement reached between a public agency or government official and a private company that includes illicit payments or special favors. They found that the mayor was involved in a number of sweetheart agreements. Most of the building contractors in town would be out of business if they didn't have sweetheart deals with the local politicians.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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 ?
Further, she contended the separation agreement was not legally binding and therefore the payments made under it were not alimony.
The CGLG itself has received about 10,000 public comments on the drafts of the implementing agreements since releasing them in July 2004 for public review, says Lisa Wojnarowski, a CGLG program associate.
The most recent and egregious failure occurred in 1995, when policymakers at the OECD authorized negotiation of an international investment treaty, the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).
The supplier often wants to restrict its distributor's right to sell competitive products both during and for some period after the term of the distribution agreement. The business rationale for insisting upon such restrictions is compelling in many Gases.
Sometimes the contracts and agreements have language in them that imposes certain legal obligations belonging to the other party--or contains clauses asking us to give up certain rights.
With all of these considerations, Castonguay says the final agreement can become thicker than some of the great works offiction like War and Peace.
For example, an agreement among the Congolese parties over an interim government or a complete or partial withdrawal of foreign troops, could yield opportunities for demobilization and disarmament of irregular forces and the need for monitoring the withdrawal of foreign forces in larger areas of the Congo.
Estoppel: Where the nonsignatory has availed itself of the benefits of the agreement containing the arbitration clause, it generally will be required to arbitrate under that agreement.
There is a key difference between the agreement and the Cooperative Airlift Agreement, said Maj.
That's because a married home owner who has lived in his or her house for two or more years with a joint tenant agreement can claim a $500,000 capital gain exclusion ($250,000 per person) on the sale of a principal residence while a single home owner can exclude only $250,000 worth of gain.
In related announcements, Tower said its principal shareholder, Israel Corp., will invest, under similar terms, $50 million in Tower's Ordinary Shares, and another investment agreement was signed between Tower and QuickLogic Corporation.
in order to consult with him and the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Negotiations on numerous legal issues related to the so-called Interim Agreement and international law.
was only part of 14 trade agreements as of August 2019, twelve being bilateral agreements mainly with countries in Latin America and the Middle East, as well as the CAFTA agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic and the NAFTA agreement with Mexico and Canada, which President Trump has threatened to quit but is now in the process of overhauling.