ARRHAE, contracts, in the civil law. Money or other valuable things given by the buyer to the seller, for the purpose of evidencing the contract earnest.
2. There are two kinds of arrhae; one kind given when a contract has only been proposed; the other when a sale has actually taken place. Those which are given when a bargain has been merely proposed, before it has been concluded, form the matter of the contract, by which he who gives the arrhae consents and agrees to lose them, and to transfer the title to them in the opposite party, in case he should refuse to complete the proposed bargain; and the receiver of arrhae is obliged on his part to return double the amount to the giver of them in case be should fail to complete his part of the contract. Poth. Contr. de Vente, n. 498. After the contract of sale has been completed, the purchaser usually gives arrbae as evidence that the contract has been perfected. Arrbae are therefore defined quod ante pretium datur, et fidem fecit contractus, facti totiusque pecuniae solvendae. Id. n. 506; Code, 4, 45, 2.