[ noun, adjective, and usually for verb 15-17, 21, 22 kon-trakt; otherwise verb kuhn-trakt ]
/ noun, adjective, and usually for verb 15-17, 21, 22 ˈkɒn trækt; otherwise verb kənˈtrækt /
an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified.
an agreement enforceable by law.
the written form of such an agreement.
the division of law dealing with contracts.
Also called contract bridge . a variety of bridge in which the side that wins the bid can earn toward game only that number of tricks named in the contract, additional points being credited above the line.Compare auction bridge.
(in auction or contract bridge)
- a commitment by the declarer and his or her partner to take six tricks plus the number specified by the final bid made.
- the final bid itself.
- the number of tricks so specified, plus six.
the formal agreement of marriage; betrothal.
Slang. an arrangement for a hired assassin to kill a specific person.
under contract; governed or arranged by special contract: a contract carrier.
verb (used with object)
to draw together or into smaller compass; draw the parts of together: to contract a muscle.
to wrinkle: to contract the brows.
to shorten (a word, phrase, etc.) by combining or omitting some of its elements: Contracting “do not” yields “don't.”
to get or acquire, as by exposure to something contagious: to contract a disease.
to incur, as a liability or obligation: to contract a debt.
to settle or establish by agreement: to contract an alliance.
to assign (a job, work, project, etc.) by contract: The publisher contracted the artwork.
to enter into an agreement with: to contract a free-lancer to do the work.
to enter into (friendship, acquaintance, etc.).
verb (used without object)
to become drawn together or reduced in compass; become smaller; shrink: The pupils of his eyes contracted in the light.
to enter into an agreement: to contract for snow removal.
contract out, to hire an outside contractor to produce or do.
SYNONYMS FOR contract
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Idioms for contract
put out a contract on, Slang. to hire or attempt to hire an assassin to kill (someone): The mob put out a contract on the informer.
Origin of contract
1275–1325; (noun) Middle English (<Anglo-French ) <Latin contractus undertaking a transaction, agreement, equivalent to contrac-, variant stem of contrahere to draw in, bring together, enter into an agreement (con-con- + trahere to drag, pull; cf. traction) + -tus suffix of v. action; (v.) <Latin contractus, past participle of contrahere
synonym study for contract
1. See agreement. 10. Contract, compress, concentrate, condense imply retaining original content but reducing the amount of space occupied. Contract means to cause to draw more closely together: to contract a muscle. Compress suggests fusing to become smaller by means of fairly uniform external pressure: to compress gases into liquid form. Concentrate implies causing to gather around a point: to concentrate troops near an objective; to concentrate one's strength. Condense implies increasing the compactness, or thickening the consistency of a homogeneous mass: to condense milk. It is also used to refer to the reducing in length of a book or the like.
OTHER WORDS FROM contract
con·tract·ee, nouncon·tract·i·ble, adjectivecon·tract·i·bil·i·ty, con·tract·i·ble·ness, nouncon·tract·i·bly, adverb
non·con·tract, adjectiveo·ver·con·tract, verb (used with object)post·con·tract, nounre·con·tract, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for contract
to make or become smaller, narrower, shorter, etcmetals contract as the temperature is reduced
(ˈkɒntrækt) (when intr, sometimes foll by for; when tr, may take an infinitive) to enter into an agreement with (a person, company, etc) to deliver (goods or services) or to do (something) on mutually agreed and binding terms, often in writing
to draw or be drawn together; coalesce or cause to coalesce
(tr) to acquire, incur, or become affected by (a disease, liability, debt, etc)
(tr) to shorten (a word or phrase) by the omission of letters or syllables, usually indicated in writing by an apostrophe
phonetics to unite (two vowels) or (of two vowels) to be united within a word or at a word boundary so that a new long vowel or diphthong is formed
(tr) to wrinkle or draw together (the brow or a muscle)
(tr) to arrange (a marriage) for; betroth
a formal agreement between two or more parties
a document that states the terms of such an agreement
the branch of law treating of contracts
marriage considered as a formal agreement
See contract bridge
- (in the bidding sequence before play) the highest bid, which determines trumps and the number of tricks one side must try to make
- the number and suit of these tricks
- a criminal agreement to kill a particular person in return for an agreed sum of money
- (as modifier)a contract killing
Derived forms of contractcontractible, adjectivecontractibly, adverb
Word Origin for contract
C16: from Latin contractus agreement, something drawn up, from contrahere to draw together, from trahere to draw
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
Medical definitions for contract
[ kən-trăkt′, kŏn′trăkt′ ]
To reduce in size by drawing together.
To become reduced in size by or as if by being drawn together, as the pupil of the eye.
To acquire or incur by contagion or infection.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cultural definitions for contract
A legally binding agreement between two or more parties.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.