Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Pollicitation Definition:

Civil law: an offer which has not been accepted.

Also pollicitatio (Latin).

A bare offer to contract not yet matched with an acceptance.

Howe defined pollicitation as follows:

“An offer which has not been accepted is what civilians (sic; aka civilists) call a mere pollicitation, and it may as a general rule be retracted by the maker at any time before acceptance, and when retracted has no longer any existence or effect.”

Burrill preferred the Latin spelling pollicitatio and defined it as:

“In the civil law: a promise without mutuality.”

In modern civil law, when merchants advertise the sale of good at-large, to the general public, such as in a newspaper advertisement, that person is referred to as the pollicitant.


  • Burrill, A., Law Dictionary and Glossary, Vol. II (New York: Baker, Voorhis & Co., Law Publishers, 1867)
  • Dahl, H., Dahl’s Law Dictionary (Paris: Editions Dalloz, 2007), page 252
  • Howe, W., Studies in the Civil Law (Littleton, Colorado: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1980), page 103

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