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In the law of the United States, a stipulation is a formal legal acknowledgement and agreement made between opposing parties prior to a pending hearing or trial. For example, both parties might stipulate to certain facts, and therefore not have to argue those facts in court. After the stipulation is entered into, it is presented to the judge. In other legal systems a similar concept is called different names.[1]

The term can also refer to a special rule in a professional wrestling match, which can force the loser to do something (e.g., retire), or any other edit to the basic rules of the match type.


The word is derived from the ancient Latin word stipula meaning straw. As per the then Roman custom, the negotiating parties, upon reaching an agreement, broke a straw as a sign of their mutual agreement and wrote down the agreement rules (stipulations).[2]


  1. ^ "Stipulation" Legal Dictionary,
  2. ^ Caesar and Christ, Will Durant, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1944