Boilerplate Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Boilerplate, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Boilerplate?

(n) Boilerplate is the provisions contained in an agreement which are generally common, routine and appears in all contracts or types of contract without change or which can be adopted in different contacts or pleadings without change and hence which can be preprinted.

History and Meaning of Boilerplate

Boilerplate is a legal term used to refer to standard provisions in a contract or agreement that are often included without any modification. The term originated in the 1800s, when printing presses were used to create plates of common text that could be used repeatedly in different documents, such as newspapers or legal agreements. These blocks of text were made of metal and were called "boilerplates" because they were used to make parts of steam boilers.

Today, the term boilerplate is commonly used to describe the standard provisions and clauses that are commonly included in a wide variety of legal documents, such as contracts, agreements, and terms of service. These provisions are typically not negotiable and are included in the document for the sake of clarity and consistency.

Examples of Boilerplate

  1. A software licensing agreement may include boilerplate language related to warranties and limitations of liability.

  2. The terms of service for a social media platform may include boilerplate language related to user responsibilities and acceptable use.

  3. A commercial lease agreement may include boilerplate language related to rent calculation and landlord responsibilities.

Legal Terms Similar to Boilerplate

  1. Standardized clause - A clause in a contract or agreement that is commonly used and generally understood by legal professionals.

  2. Template agreement - An agreement that is created as a starting point and can be customized to fit the specific needs of a particular situation.

  3. Pro forma contract - A pre-designed contract that is typically used in specific industries or situations and includes standardized provisions.