Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Animus Contrahendi Definition:

Latin: an intention to contract.

Related Terms: Animus, Animus Furandi, Non Est Factum

Usually used in the context of contract law.

Sometimes spelled animus contra-hendi.

Animus refers to intent.

Compare, for example, with animus furandi (the intent to steal an item).

The doctrine of animus contrahendi was explained by Canadian contract law professor Fridman as follows:

"A contract can only arise if there is the animus contrahendi between the parties. Without the expressed or implicit intention that a contract should emerge as a result of the language or conduct of the alleged parties, no contractual obligations can be said to exist and be capable of enforcement."


  • Fridman, G., The Law of Contract in Canada, 5th Ed. (Toronto: Thomson-Carswell, 2006).

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