[kuh n-trak-cher]

noun Pathology.

a shortening or distortion of muscular or connective tissue due to spasm, scar, or paralysis of the antagonist of the contracting muscle.

Origin of contracture

1650–60; < Latin contractūra, equivalent to contract(us) drawn together (past participle of contrahere; see contract) + -ūra -ure
Related formscon·trac·tured, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of contracture

British Dictionary definitions for contracture



a disorder in which a skeletal muscle is permanently tightened (contracted), most often caused by spasm or paralysis of the antagonist muscle that maintains normal muscle tension
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for contracture

1650s, from French contracture, from Latin contractura "a drawing together," from contractus, past participle of contrahere (see contract (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for contracture




An abnormal, often permanent shortening, as of muscle or scar tissue, that results in distortion or deformity, especially of a joint of the body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.