- an act or instance of contracting.
- the quality or state of being contracted.
- a shortened form of a word or group of words, with the omitted letters often replaced in written English by an apostrophe, as e'er for ever, isn't for is not, dep't for department.
- Physiology. the change in a muscle by which it becomes thickened and shortened.
- a restriction or withdrawal, as of currency or of funds available as call money.
- a decrease in economic and industrial activity (opposed to expansion).
Origin of contraction
Examples from the Web for contraction
“The regime army is in a state of contraction,” says Mustafa Sheikh, the head of the rebel Free Syrian Army.Inside Bashar al-Assad’s Army
December 10, 2012
Megan: So let's start with the contraction of the market for lawyers: do we know what's causing it?The Perils of Law School
September 24, 2012
If that contraction has continued over the summer, we call it a recession.The Eurozone: A Sinking Ship
August 14, 2012
The increase in public payrolls was helping to offset the contraction of private ones.A Secret the Republicans Know But Will Never Admit
June 11, 2012
As a result the U.S.—and the world—economy experienced 12 successive quarters of contraction.Why Keynes Is King
October 13, 2009
A kind of universal cramp seized me—a contraction of every fibre of my body.Wilfrid Cumbermede
If the lameness arise from contraction, rather than from weakness, the best means will be frequent rubbing of the part affected.
White is produced by the dilation, black by the contraction, of the particles of sight.Timaeus
As the glue dries and breaks by contraction, it chips off the surface of the glass.On Laboratory Arts
Every muscle in his body responded with a contraction of full intensity.The K-Factor
Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
- an instance of contracting or the state of being contracted
- physiol any normal shortening or tensing of an organ or part, esp of a muscle, e.g. during childbirth
- pathol any abnormal tightening or shrinking of an organ or part
- a shortening of a word or group of words, often marked in written English by an apostropheI've come for I have come
Word Origin and History for contraction
late 14c., "action of making a contract" (especially of marriage), also "action of shrinking or shortening," from Old French contraction (13c.), or directly from Latin contractionem (nominative contractio), noun of action from past participle stem of contrahere (see contract (n.)). Meaning "action of acquiring (a disease) is from c.1600. Grammatical sense is from 1706; meaning "a contracted word or words" is from 1755. Contractions of the uterus in labor of childbirth attested from 1962.
- The act of contracting or the state of being contracted.
- The shortening and thickening of functioning muscle or muscle fiber.
- The shortening and thickening of a muscle for the purpose of exerting force on or causing movement of a body part. See more at muscle.
A word produced by running two or more words together and leaving out some of the letters or sounds. For example, isn't is a contraction of is not.