Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An existing contract that obviates the making of another contract of the same kind: a precontract of marriage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A contract preceding another, especially a contract of marriage which, according to the ancient law, rendered void a subsequent marriage solemnized in violation of it.
  • v. To contract prior to another process

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A contract preceding another.
  • intransitive v. To make a previous contract or agreement.
  • transitive v. To contract, engage, or stipulate previously.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To contract beforehand; bind or make over by a previous contract; particularly, to betroth before something else.
  • To form a previous contract; come to a previous arrangement or agreement.
  • n. A previous contract or engagement; especially, a previous betrothal or contract of marriage.

Etymologies

pre- +‎ contract (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • I verily think, that I have had three or four precontracts in my time, but the good girls have not claimed upon them of a long time...

    Lovelace to Belford, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    December 17, 2007

  • An existing contract that obviates the making of another contract of the same kind: a precontract of marriage. --The Free Dictionary.

    December 17, 2007