Detriment

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Detriment

Any loss or harm to a person or property; relinquishment of a legal right, benefit, or something of value.

Detriment is most frequently applied to contract formation, since it is an essential element of consideration, which is a prerequisite of a legally enforceable contract. To incur detriment means to cement a promise by either refraining from doing something that one has a legal right to do or by doing something that one is not under any legal obligation to do.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.