Ballentine's Law Dictionary

Derived from Latin assumere, meaning to assume or undertake. In contracts, it is understood as an undertaking, either express or implied, to perform a parol agreement. At common law, it was divided into express and implied assumpsit, the former being an undertaking, made orally, by writing not under seal, or matter of record, to perform an act or to pay a sum of money to another; while an implied assumpsit was an undertaking presumed in law to have been made by a party from his conduct, although he had not made an express promise. The action of assumpsit was also divided into special assumpsit, or an action brought "on an express promise, and general assumpsit or an action brought on an implied contract. See Ann. Cas. 1913A, 471.

James A. Ballentine
The Bobbs-Merrill Company
Year Published: 
Law Dictionary