negotiable instrument

(law/banking/shipping) A written document (instrument) that can be transferred merely by endorsement (signing) or delivery. Checks, bills of exchange, bills of lading and warehouse receipts (if marked negotiable), and promissory notes are examples of negotiable instruments.
(U.S.) The Uniform Negotiable Instruments Act states: “An instrument, to be negotiable, must conform to the following requirements: (1) it must be in writing and signed by the maker or drawer; (2) it must contain an unconditional promise or order to pay a certain sum in money; (3) it must be payable on demand, or at a fixed or determinable future time; (4) it must be payable to order or to bearer; and (5) where the instrument is addressed to a drawee, he must be named or otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty.”.

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