time is of the essence

Primary tabs

In a legal context, “time is of the essence” is a statement that may be included in the language of the provisions of a contract to emphasize that the parties must complete their obligations on time. In other words, the phrase “time is of the essence” means that timing is material to the performance of the contract. For example, in a contract for the purchase of goods, a clause may state that “...time is of the essence for all the seller's obligations related to the provision of the sold goods to the buyer”.

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