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.
Other Word Forms of Contraction
Origin of Contraction
From Old French contraction, from Latin contractiō.
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