Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) , Page 923
consideration,n.1. Something (such as an act, a forbearance, or a return promise) bargainedfor and received by a promisor from a promisee; that which motivates a person to do something,esp. to engage in a legal act. • Consideration, or a substitute such as promissory estoppel, isnecessary for an agreement to be enforceable. See Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 81 (1979).[Cases: Contracts 49. C.J.S. Contracts § 87.]“A ‘consideration’ has been explained to be ‘any act of the plaintiff from which the defendant,or a stranger, derives a benefit or advantage, or any labour, detriment, or inconvenience sustained by the plaintiff, however small the detriment or inconvenience may be, if such act is performed, or inconvenience suffered by the plaintiff with the assent, express or implied, of the defendant, or, inthe language of pleading, at the special instance and request of the defendant.’ ” Thomas E.Holland, The Elements of Jurisprudence 286 (13th ed. 1924).“A consideration in its widest sense is the reason, motive, or inducement, by which a man ismoved to bind himself by an agreement. It is not for nothing that he consents to impose anobligation upon himself, or to abandon or transfer a right. It is in consideration of such and such afact that he agrees to bear new burdens or to forgo the benefits which the law already allows him.”John Salmond, Jurisprudence 359 (Glanville L. Williams ed., 10th ed. 1947).“The word ‘consideration’ has been around for a long time, so it is tempting to think we havehad a theory of consideration for a long time. In fact until the nineteenth century the word never acquired any particular meaning or stood for any theory.” Grant Gilmore, The Death of Contract18 (1974).“In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries the word ‘consideration’ was very familiar to lawyers, and although it had not yet acquired a special legal meaning (and indeed was not to doso during the period under discussion) it had already begun to develop legal associations. Mostcommonly it was used in statutes.... In the statutes of Henry VI it became quite common for thedraftsman, after he had rehearsed the circumstances to introduce the enacting part with a clause inthe following (or similar) form: ‘The King, considering the premisses, of the Assent and Requestaforesaid, hath ordained and established ....’ In the course of time the matters which wereconsidered, and to which consideration was given, came themselves to be called ‘theconsiderations.’ [By the late 15th century] the considerations were the matters considered; theywere the factors which Parliament or the King was supposed to have had in mind in legislating,and which moved or motivated the enactment. Loosely the word could be treated as synonymouswith ‘cause,’ and both in statutes and elsewhere causes and considerations were often mentionedin the same breath. But ‘cause’ does not mean exactly the same thing as ‘consideration’; it lacksthe suggestion of what was in the mind, what was considered, what motivated.” A.W.B. Simpson,Legal Theory and Legal History 332 (1987).adequate consideration.Consideration that is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the agreement. Cf. sufficient consideration. [Cases: Contracts 53–54. C.J.S. Contracts §§ 87,131–132.]“It is helpful to observe precision in use of vocabulary when analyzing consideration issues.Distinguish carefully between ‘adequate’ consideration and ‘sufficient’ consideration. ‘Adequacy’refers to whether there was a fair bargain involving an exchange of equal values. ‘Sufficiency’refers to whether the consideration is legally suffi-cient to enforce a promise, and this requiresonly that there be some legal detriment incurred as a bargained exchange for the other party's promise.” Claude Rohwer & Gordon D. Schaber, Contracts in a Nutshell 83 (4th ed. 1997).