contract

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a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on

A humorous phrase emphasizing the lack of value and reliability in an oral contract. Typically attributed to 20th-century movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn, though the phrase is likely a misquote. Get everything in writing, Jean. How many times do I have to tell you—a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.

contract for (something)

To enter into an agreement with someone or a group to do or produce something. We contracted for that massive scanning project with an outside company because no one on our staff has time to do it.
See also: contract

contract for (something) with (someone or something)

To enter into an agreement with someone or a group to do or produce something. We contracted for that massive scanning project with an outside company because no one on our staff has time to do it.
See also: contract

contract out

To give a job or assignment to an outside entity (so as to avoid doing the job oneself). A noun or pronoun can be used between "contract" and "out." We contracted the project out because no one on our staff has the time to scan all of those documents.
See also: contract, out

contract with (someone or something)

To agree with someone or a group to do something. No one on our staff has the time to scan all of those documents, so we'll contract with a company that can do it for us.
See also: contract

contract with (someone or something) for (something)

To enter into an agreement with someone or a group to do or produce something. We contracted with an outside company for that massive scanning project that no one on our staff has time to do.
See also: contract

put a contract out on (one)

slang To order for one to be assassinated. Usually said in reference to organized crime. The mob put a contract out on the accountant because he had agreed to testify in court. It turns out that he had put a contract out on the owner of the business so that he could gain control of it.
See also: contract, on, out, put

sweetheart contract

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 contract 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 contract 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 contract 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 contract with a for-profit events organizer that receives nearly 40% of the annual donations the charity receives.
See also: contract, sweetheart
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

contract something out

to make an agreement with someone to do a specific amount of work. (Rather than doing it oneself or in one's own place of business.) I will contract this out and have it done by consultants. I contracted out this kind of job the last time.
See also: contract, out

contract with someone (for something)

 and contract (with someone) for something
to make an agreement with someone to produce or supply something, or to do something. I will have to contract with an expert for that part of the project. We contracted with a local builder for a new kitchen. Did you contract for plumbing work with Eric?
See also: contract

put a contract out on someone

[for an underworld character] to order someone to kill someone else. The mob put out a contract on some crook from Detroit.
See also: contract, on, out, put
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

contract out

v.
To engage another person or company by contract to undertake some job that is typically considered part of one's business: Many companies contract out administrative tasks in order to concentrate on sales and marketing.
See also: contract, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Maintain the BBA requirement that the contract a beneficiary signs clearly indicates that: claims will not be submitted to Medicare by either the physician or the beneficiary; the beneficiary is responsible for the full cost of the privately contracted services; balance billing limits do not apply to contracted services: Medigap coverage will not be available for contracted services; and the services to be performed could be paid for by Medicare if provided by another physician.
Thermal sand reclamation units, advanced mixers, heat-treating ovens, scrap preheaters and other equipment that has the potential for increased efficiency and cost savings can be performance contracted.
The prospective husband at first urges his father "not to marry him against his affections." Then, torn between allegiance to his father and his own desires, he "seemed to consent, to please his father." "Then were they as firmly contracted as the priest could make them, and two or three witnesses to avow it." Some years later, when the young lady comes of age, the young man (now a duke) falls in love with another woman and marries her.
The surrogate mother sought custody of the child conceived with sperm provided by a couple who had contracted her services.
Although a department might be outsourced to a business that possesses special expertise in performing the type of function being contracted out, another alternative is to outsource the function to a business that offers no special expertise for performing any specific function, but instead merely substitutes itself as the "employer" of individuals performing the work.
Biennial publication that covers Navy Department personnel and offices that can be contracted to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete for Navy contracts.
As the ESPC program has grown, KAFB has contracted out its civil engineering functions to a civil engineering services contractor (CESCO).