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A legal document intended to bind its signatory to strong legal obligations, such as a transfer of land or execution of certain metas of contract (see: Contract by deed). A deed has historically been associated with a certain degree of ceremony, particularly the requirement that it be 'signed, sealed, and delivered'. In recent years this ceremony has become largely symbolic; what distinguishes a contract by deed from a 'contract under hand' (see: Contract under hand) is the wording used and the fact that it must be signed by a witness (two witnesses in some cases).

English Legal Systems