meeting of the minds

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Meeting of the minds refers to mutual assent by all parties to the formation of a contract. For a meeting of the minds to occur, the parties must agree to the same terms, conditions, and subject matter. Although a meeting of the minds was required under the traditional subjective theory of assent, modern contract doctrine requires only objective manifestations of assent. Nowadays, a meeting of the minds remains a required element for a valid contract but is judged only by the outward expressions of the parties. Thus, a meeting of the minds occurs even if one party subjectively did not agree, as long as both parties’ outward expressions manifested assent.

Outside of contract law, meeting of the minds also appears in some state criminal laws as an element of the crime of conspiracy

[Last updated in July of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]