On or before

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A phrase usually found in a contract or promissory note requiring payment or performance by a particular date or prior to that date. Further, employment of this phrase in a contract may implicate that time is of the essence. For example, in Jannetti v. Whelan, a New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division case, found that a contractual requirement that the contract would be null and void if the closing did not occur on or before a stated date made time of the essence for closing the deal. 

[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]