Oral Contract

A type of business agreement that is spoken, not memorialized in writing. Although it can be difficult to prove the terms of an oral contract in the event of a breach, this type of contract is legally binding.

A famous example of the enforceability of an oral contract occurred in the 1990s when actress Kim Basinger backed out of her promise to star in Jennifer Lynch's film "Boxing Helena". A jury awarded the producers $8 million in damages. Basinger appealed the decision and later settled for a lower amount, but not before having to file bankruptcy.

Oral contracts are often mistakenly referred to as verbal contracts, but a verbal contract is really any contract since all contracts are created using language.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • oral contract — n. A contract that is made verbally, or partly verbally and partly in writing. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. oral contract An agreement …   Law dictionary

  • Oral contract — An oral contract is a contract the terms of which have been agreed by spoken communication, in contrast to a written contract, where the contract is a written document. There may be written, or other physical evidence, of an oral contract – for… …   Wikipedia

  • oral contract —    An agreement that is made with spoken words and is not confirmed in writing or is only partially written. An oral contract has the same validity as a written one, but its terms are much more difficult to prove in the event of a dispute. An… …   Business law dictionary

  • oral contract — A contract not recorded on paper or on computer, but made vocally which is usually enforceable. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * oral contract oral contract ➔ contract1 * * * oral contract UK US noun [C] LAW ► a spoken agreement that is not… …   Financial and business terms

  • oral contract — Same as parol contract …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • oral contract — noun an agreement that is not in writing and is not signed by the parties but is a real existing contract that lacks only the formal requirement of a memorandum to render it enforceable in litigation • Hypernyms: ↑agreement, ↑understanding …   Useful english dictionary

  • contract — con·tract 1 / kän ˌtrakt/ n [Latin contractus from contrahere to draw together, enter into (a relationship or agreement), from com with, together + trahere to draw] 1: an agreement between two or more parties that creates in each party a duty to… …   Law dictionary

  • oral — I adjective announced, articulated, audible, by word of mouth, communicated, enunciated, expressed, expressed in words, phonic, said, said aloud, sounded, spoken, spoken out loud, told, unwritten, uttered, verbal, vocal, vocalized, voiced… …   Law dictionary

  • oral — Uttered by the mouth or in words; spoken, not written @ oral argument Presentation of reasons for affirmance, reversal, modification, etc. by appellee and appellant before appellate court; generally limited in time by court rule; e.g. Fed.R.App.P …   Black's law dictionary

  • contract — a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. Glossary of Business Terms A legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties for performing, or refraining from performing, some specified act; e.g., delivering 5,000 bushels of… …   Financial and business terms


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