Delivery Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Delivery?

n. The act of physically handing over money, document or object to complete a transaction. For example: if payment has been made, the delivery of a deed transfers title, and the delivery of goods makes the sale complete. Unless agreed to by the parties, symbolic or constructive delivery falls short of completion.

History and Meaning of Delivery

Delivery is a common term in legal and business transactions. It has its roots in medieval English law, where the word “delivrance” was used to describe the exchange of landownership between lords and their tenants. Today, delivery refers to the act of physically transferring an item, document, or money from one person to another to complete a transaction. In legal terms, delivery is necessary for a contract to be enforceable. Without delivery, the terms of the agreement are merely promises or agreements instead of legally binding contracts.

Examples of Delivery

  1. Delivery of a car: When a buyer purchases a car from a seller, they exchange money and keys. The seller delivers the keys, and the buyer takes physical possession of the car.
  2. Delivery of goods ordered online: When a customer purchases an item online from an e-commerce website, the seller must deliver the product to the customer's address.
  3. Delivery of a deed: When a property is sold, the seller delivers the deed to the property to the buyer to transfer ownership legally.
  4. Delivery of a subpoena: A subpoena requesting a person's court appearance or production of documents requires proper delivery to be legally enforceable in court.
  5. Delivery of a baby: In legal terms, "delivery" of a baby refers to the birth of the baby and the transfer of the baby from the mother's womb to the outside world.

Legal Terms Similar to Delivery

  1. Possession: Possession is the state of owning, controlling, or having physical custody of an object or property.
  2. Performance: Performance refers to the completion of an obligation or contract, as specified in the agreement.
  3. Transfer: Transfer is the conveying of ownership or title to another individual or entity.
  4. Conveyance: A term used to describe the legal transfer of property or the act of transferring an interest in property from one entity to another.
  5. Execution: Execution is the act of completing or signing a contract, agreement, or other legal document according to the terms of the contract.