- The definition of contraction is the lengthening or shortening of a muscle fiber or a word formed by combining the sounds of two longer words.
- An example of a contraction is the action of the uterus during the birth process.
- An example of a contraction is the word doesn't from does not.
- a contracting or being contracted
- the shortening and thickening of a muscle fiber or a muscle in action, esp. of the uterus during labor
- the shortening of a word or phrase by the omission of one or more sounds or letters
- a word form resulting from this (Ex.: she's for she is, aren't for are not)
- Econ. a period of decrease in business activity
Origin of contractionMiddle English contraccioun ; from Old French contraction ; from Classical Latin contractio
- The act of contracting or the state of being contracted.
- a. A word, as won't from will not, or phrase, as o'clock from of the clock, formed by omitting or combining some of the sounds of a longer phrase.b. The formation of such a word.
- Physiology The shortening and thickening of functioning muscle or muscle fiber.
- A period of decreased business activity.
- A reversible reduction in size.
- (economics) A period of economic decline or negative growth.
- The country's economic contraction was caused by high oil prices.
- (biology) A shortening of a muscle when it is used.
- (medicine) A strong and often painful shortening of the uterine muscles prior to or during childbirth.
- (linguistics) A process whereby one or more sounds of a free morpheme (a word) are lost or reduced, such that it becomes a bound morpheme (a clitic) that attaches phonologically to an adjacent word.
- In English didn't, that's, and wanna, the endings -n't, -'s, and -a arose by contraction.
- (English orthography) A word with omitted letters replaced by an apostrophe, usually resulting from the above process.
- "Don't" is a contraction of "do not."
- (medicine) Contracting a disease.
- The contraction of AIDS from toilet seats is extremely rare.
- (phonetics) Syncope, the loss of sounds from within a word.
- The acquisition of something, generally negative.
- Our contraction of debt in this quarter has reduced our ability to attract investors.
- (medicine) A distinct stage of wound healing, wherein the wound edges are gradually pulled together.
From Old French contraction, from Latin contractiō.
contraction - Computer Definition
The shortening of a word or phrase by omitting letters or syllables. In the English language, a contraction generally, but not always, marks the omitted letters or syllables with an apostrophe or a period. Telco, for example, is a contraction of telephone company. Doesn't is a contraction of does not. Mr. is a contraction of mister, a title of courtesy for a man. Mrs. is a contraction of mistress, a title of courtesy for a married or widowed woman. Once upon a time, people used the title of courtesy Miss to denote a girl or unmarried woman.The feminist movement of the 1970s forced a change to Ms., which makes no distinction in a woman's marital status. Now we frequently delete such titles, altogether, leaving those who don't know the person to guess at both his or her gender and marital status, which is all quite silly, even if it is PC (politically correct). (Note: PC is an initialism.) See also initialism and portmanteau.