Legal Dictionary

breach of contract

Legal Definition of breach of contract


  1. The failure to do what one promised to do under a contract. Proving a breach of contract is a prerequisite of any suit for damages based on the contract.

Related terms

Definition of breach of contract


breach of contract (uncountable)

  1. (law) An unjustifiable failure to perform under the terms of a contract when performance is due.

Further reading

Breach of contract is a legal concept in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other party's performance.

Limits on Remedies and Damages

Typically, the judicial remedy for breach of contract is monetary damages. See damages. Where the failure to perform cannot be adequately redressed by money damage, the court may enter an equity decree awarding an injunction or specific performance.

The aggrieved person has a duty to mitigate or reduce damages by reasonable means. Liquidated Damages may be limited to a specific amount. In the United States, punitive damages are generally not awarded for breach of contract but may be awarded for other causes of action in a lawsuit. Limitation of Liability (Exculpatory) clauses. [Private agreement is permissible.] [Invalid when public interest is involved and there is willful conduct or gross negligence.]


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1.     landed property
2.     lex fori
3.     status quo
4.     ownership
5.     lex loci delicti commissi
6.     lex situs
7.     sodomy
8.     lex causae
9.     unjustified
10.     AORO