Futures / futures contract

a contract to buy or sell a specific underlying commodity or financial instrument on a delivery date in the future, with the price determined by supply and demand in the marketplace at the time the contract is entered into. Futures contracts are standardized according to the quantity, delivery time and location for each underlying. Unlike options which carry rights for the buyer and writer, futures convey an obligation to buy for the contract buyer, and an obligation to sell for the contract seller.