/euh sump"sit/, n. Law.
1. a legal action for a breach of contract or promise not under seal.
2. an actionable promise.
[1605-15; < L: he has taken upon himself, he has undertaken]

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(Latin: "he has undertaken") In common law, an action to recover damages for breach of contract, especially an implied or quasi contract.

It developed in early English law as a form of recovery for the negligent performance of an undertaking (e.g., failing to protect from damage another's goods in one's care). Eventually, it came to cover broader claims regarding failure to keep a promise. It remains available as a contractual remedy in some U.S. jurisdictions.

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      (Latin: “he has undertaken”), in common law, an action to recover damages for breach of contract. Originating in the 14th century as a form of recovery for the negligent performance of an undertaking, this action gradually came to cover the many kinds of agreement called for by an expanding commerce and technology.

      The concept of assumpsit was first introduced in cases in which the defendant damaged goods entrusted to him by the plaintiff—e.g., where the defendant had taken the plaintiff's horse in order to transport it across a river and negligently caused the ferry to overturn so that the horse drowned.

      Assumpsit did not become a contractual remedy in the modern sense until two modifications occurred: (1) the emphasis shifted from the negligent act of the defendant to the defendant's failure to keep his promise; and (2) the action was made available as a remedy in situations where the defendant did something improperly or neglected to do something he had promised to do.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • assumpsit — as·sump·sit /ə səmp sit/ n [Medieval Latin, he/she undertook]: an express or implied promise or contract or quasi contract the breach of which may be grounds for a suit; also: a common law action that may be brought for such a breach compare… …   Law dictionary

  • Assumpsit — ( he has undertaken, from Latin, assumere ) is an action for the recovery of damages by reason of the breach or non performance of a simple contract, either express or implied, and whether made orally or in writing.Assumpsit was the word always… …   Wikipedia

  • Assumpsit — As*sump sit (?; 215), n. [L., he undertook, pret. of L. assumere. See {Assume}.] (Law) (a) A promise or undertaking, founded on a consideration. This promise may be oral or in writing not under seal. It may be express or implied. (b) An action to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • assumpsit — [ə sump′sit] n. [ModL < L, he has undertaken; 3d pers. sing., perf. indic., of assumere, ASSUME] Law 1. an agreement or promise, written, spoken, or implied, and not under seal 2. an action to recover damages for the nonfulfillment of such an… …   English World dictionary

  • assumpsit — /3sam(p)s3t/ He undertook; he promised. A promise or engagement by which one person assumes or undertakes to do some act or pay something to another. It may be either oral or in writing, but is not under seal. It is express if the promisor puts… …   Black's law dictionary

  • assumpsit — A common law action by which compensation in damages may be recovered for the nonperformance of a contract express or implied, written or verbal, but not under seal and not of record. Board of Highway Comrs. v Bloomington, 253 Ill 164, 97 NE 280; …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • assumpsit — əˈsəm(p)sə̇t, aˈ noun ( s) Etymology: New Latin, he undertook, 3d person singular perfect indicative active of assumere to undertake, from Latin, to take up more atassume 1. a. : a form of common law action on the case not now used in which the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • assumpsit — noun Etymology: New Latin, he undertook, from Latin assumere to undertake Date: 1590 1. an express or implied promise or contract not under seal on which an action may be brought 2. a. a former common law action brought to recover damages …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • assumpsit — n. verbal agreement; damage suit brought upon violation of a verbal agreement (Law) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • assumpsit — as·sump·sit …   English syllables

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