1. [ noun ] (physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber)
Synonyms: muscular_contraction muscle_contraction
Related terms: extension shortening tetanus braxton-hicks_contraction vaginismus uterine_contraction contracture physiology
2. [ noun ] the act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope
Related terms: expansion decrease narrow shrink contract
3. [ noun ] the process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together
Synonyms: condensation compression

: "the contraction of a gas on cooling"

Related terms: shrinking coarctation compress condense
4. [ noun ] (linguistics) 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'"

Related terms: word
Similar spelling:   contract