Breach Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Breach?

(n) Breach is the violation or breaking of an obligation, duty, promise, trust etc by a person who is liable to perform or not to perform such action by a contact, legal obligation, customary practice etc. Eg. Breach of contract terms, Breach of trust, Breach of promise, Breach of warranty etc

History and Meaning of Breach

Breach is a term used in various areas of law to describe the breaking or violation of an agreement or legal duty. The concept has roots in English Common Law, which established the idea that individuals have certain obligations to one another, and that a failure to fulfill those obligations can lead to legal consequences.

In modern legal contexts, breach can refer to a wide range of actions and situations that involve a failure to meet an established standard. For example, a breach of contract occurs when one party fails to fulfill the terms of a legally binding agreement. Similarly, a breach of trust may occur when an individual in a position of power or responsibility fails to act in the best interests of someone who has placed their trust in them.

Examples of Breach

  1. A company fails to deliver goods to a customer by the agreed-upon deadline, constituting a breach of their contractual obligations.

  2. An employee of a business divulges confidential information to a competitor, constituting a breach of their duty of loyalty to their employer.

  3. A landlord fails to provide necessary repairs to a rental property, constituting a breach of their legal obligation to maintain safe living conditions for their tenant.

Legal Terms Similar to Breach

  • Default: Failure to fulfill an obligation or perform a duty, often used in the context of contracts or loan agreements.

  • Negligence: Failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to another person or property.

  • Tort: A wrongful act that causes harm to another person or property, often resulting in a legal claim for damages.