a. The act of agreeing: When did the agreement take place?
b. Harmony of opinion; accord: Since we are all in agreement, let's proceed.
2. An arrangement between parties, usually resulting from a discussion, regarding a course of action.
a. A properly executed and legally binding contract.
b. The writing or document embodying this contract.
4. Grammar Correspondence in gender, number, case, or person between words.
Synonyms: agreement, bargain, compact2, covenant, deal1, pact
These nouns denote an understanding between parties specifying what is expected of each: made an agreement that I would replace any of the items I lost or damaged; kept my end of the bargain and mowed the lawn; made a compact to correspond regularly; vows that constituted a covenant between the marriage partners; made a deal that if her parents got a new dog, she would walk it; a solemn pact to support each other in times of trouble.
Our Living Language Sometimes vernacular varieties of English do not conform to the standard pattern of subject-verb agreement, such as in the constructions She walk, People goes, and Pat and Terry likes the new movie. The standard pattern requires an -s ending on present-tense verbs with third-person singular subjects (such as the teacher or he/she/it) and no ending on verbs with any other kind of subject. Speakers who do not follow this pattern smooth out this irregularity by using -s endings for all persons and numbers (I/you/she/we/they walks) or by using no inflection at all (I/you/she/we/they go). The regularization of agreement patterns is not confined to today's vernacular dialect speakers. Subject-verb agreement has become progressively simpler throughout the development of English. In older varieties of English, all verbs took endings for person and number in both present and past tense. Vernacular speakers who use patterns such as she go or the students walks are carrying on the historic tradition of simplifying agreement patterns. See Note at be.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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