Legal Dictionary

synallagmatic contract

Legal Definition of synallagmatic contract


  1. A civil law term for a reciprocal or bilateral contract: one in which both parties provide consideration. A contract of sale is a classic example, where one party provides money and the other, goods or services. A gift is not a synallagmatic contract.

Related terms

Definition of synallagmatic contract

Further reading

In civil law systems, a synallagmatic contract is a contract in which each party to the contract is bound to provide something to the other party. Its name is derived from the Ancient Greek synallagma, meaning mutual agreement. Examples of synallagmatic contracts include contracts of sale, of service, or of hiring.

In common law jurisdictions, it is roughly the equivalent of a bilateral contract rather than a gift (as such a relationship is not one of contract) or a unilateral contract in which only one party makes an enforceable promise. In civilian jurisdictions, the proper contrast is with a gift as such a relationship is one of contract.


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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