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  1. social contract

    • IPA[ˌsəʊʃl ˈkɒntrakt]

    英式

    • n.
      an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection. Theories of a social contract became popular in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries among theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as a means of explaining the origin of government and the obligations of subjects.
    • noun: social contract, plural noun: social contracts