Definitions for Contractionkənˈtræk ʃən

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word Contraction

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

con•trac•tion*kənˈtræk ʃən(n.)

  1. an act or instance of contracting.

  2. the quality or state of being contracted.

  3. a shortened form of a word or group of words, with the omitted letters often replaced in written English by an apostrophe, as isn't for is not, they're for they are, e'er for


    Category: Grammar

  4. the change in a muscle by which it becomes thickened and shortened.

    Category: Physiology

  5. a decrease in economic and industrial activity.

    Category: Commerce, Business

* Usage: Contractions (isn't, couldn't, can't, he'll) occur chiefly, although not exclusively, in informal speech and writing. They are common in personal letters, business letters, journalism, and fiction; rare in scientific and scholarly writing. Contractions in formal writing usu. represent speech.

Origin of contraction:

1375–1425; (< MF) < L contractiō=contrac-, var. s. of contrahere (see contract ) +-tiō -tion


Princeton's WordNet

  1. contraction, muscular contraction, muscle contraction(noun)

    (physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber)

  2. compression, condensation, contraction(noun)

    the process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together

    "the contraction of a gas on cooling"

  3. contraction(noun)

    a word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds

    "`won't' is a contraction of `will not'"; "`o'clock' is a contraction of `of the clock'"

  4. contraction(noun)

    the act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. contraction(noun)ənˈtræk ʃən

    a short form of a word

    "can't" is a contraction of "cannot."

  2. contractionənˈtræk ʃən

    a muscle movement that helps to push a baby out of its mother

    Her contractions began that night.

  3. contractionənˈtræk ʃən

    reduction in size

    a contraction of the work force


  1. contraction(Noun)

    A reversible reduction in size.

  2. contraction(Noun)

    A period of economic decline or negative growth.

    The country's economic contraction was caused by high oil prices.

  3. contraction(Noun)

    A shortening of a muscle when it is used.

  4. contraction(Noun)

    A strong and often painful shortening of the uterine muscles prior to or during childbirth.

  5. contraction(Noun)

    A shortened word or phrase, with the missing letters represented by an apostrophe.

  6. contraction(Noun)

    Contracting a disease.

    The contraction of AIDS from toilet seats is extremely rare.

  7. contraction(Noun)

    Syncope, the loss of sounds from within a word.

  8. contraction(Noun)

    The acquisition of something, generally negative.

    Our contraction of debt in this quarter has reduced our ability to attract investors.

  9. contraction(Noun)

    A distinct stage of wound healing, wherein the wound edges are gradually pulled together.

  10. Origin: From contractio.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Contraction(noun)

    the act or process of contracting, shortening, or shrinking; the state of being contracted; as, contraction of the heart, of the pupil of the eye, or of a tendion; the contraction produced by cold

  2. Contraction(noun)

    the process of shortening an operation

  3. Contraction(noun)

    the act of incurring or becoming subject to, as liabilities, obligation, debts, etc.; the process of becoming subject to; as, the contraction of a disease

  4. Contraction(noun)

    something contracted or abbreviated, as a word or phrase; -- as, plenipo for plenipotentiary; crim. con. for criminal conversation, etc

  5. Contraction(noun)

    the shortening of a word, or of two words, by the omission of a letter or letters, or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one; as, ne'er for never; can't for can not; don't for do not; it's for it is

  6. Contraction(noun)

    a marriage contract


  1. Contraction

    A contraction is a shortened version of the written and spoken forms of a word, syllable, or word group, created by omission of internal letters. In traditional grammar, contraction can denote the formation of a new word from one word or a group of words, for example, by elision. This often occurs in rendering a common sequence of words or, as in French, in maintaining a flowing sound. In strict analysis, contractions should not be confused with abbreviations or acronyms, with which they share some semantic and phonetic functions, though all three are connoted by the term "abbreviation" in loose parlance. Contraction is also distinguished from clipping, where beginnings and endings are omitted.

Translations for Contraction

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


an act of contracting

contraction of metals; contraction of muscles.

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