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 ?
It has never been more important than it is now for the contracting and acquisition workforce to be well trained and motivated to do their jobs.
When he interviewed for the job of running Chugach, Brown told the board, "If you hire me, it'll be to commit completely to government contracting." They agreed.
Union Energy, a company launched by Westcoast Energy, Inc., began marketing the idea of performance contracting to Canadian foundries about a year and a half ago.
9, line 823) of the contracting parties - in the first instance husband and wife, but also sovereign and subject - it threatens not only the traditional understanding of the marriage contract but also the royalist's use of the marriage contract as a justification of political subordination and absolute sovereignty.
A $1.2 million procurement was awarded in 70 days rather than the nominal 260 days using normal FAR Part 15--Contracting by Negotiation, contracting procedures.
regions, five overseas contracting elements, an Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Commercial Contracting Center (ITEC4), and a headquarters located in Falls Church, Va.
To meet the accelerated goal, a MTMC Integrated Process Team was organized to streamline the contracting process transition.
3044) that prohibited private contracting in an effort to clarify past practices.
To receive RFPs automatically, you must obtain a solicitation mailing list application (Standard Form 129) from a business service center and send it to the contracting office.
Individuals should report hours worked to the Contracting Firm, not to the Company.
For decades, contracting out has been common among agencies trying either to evade personnel ceilings or purchase outside expertise.
* Federal Contracting Basics, which is equivalent to DAU's CON 110: Mission Performance Planning, is an intensive, five-day introduction to government contracting.
Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) are available through a variety of contracting vehicles.
The system was established in 1987 and automated in 1990 pursuant to New York City's Administrative Code2 and designed to inform a contracting agency whether a contractor or subcontractor, in addition to being the lowest responsive bidder, is also a "responsible" bidder, entitled to awarded a public contract.
Throughout the world, DCMA professionals serve as the contracting agents in defense plants for military service program managers.