Simple Definition of contraction
: the act or process of making something smaller or of becoming smaller
medical : a movement of a muscle that causes it to become tight and that is sometimes painful; especially : a movement of muscles in the womb when a woman is giving birth to a child
: a short form of a word or word group that is made by leaving out a sound or letter
Full Definition of contraction
2 : a shortening of a word, syllable, or word group by omission of a sound or letter; also : a form produced by such shortening
contractionalplay \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
contractiveplay \kən-ˈtrak-tiv, ˈkän-ˌ\ adjective
contractionaryplay \kən-ˈtrak-shə-ˌner-ē\ adjective
Examples of contraction in a sentence
The hot metal undergoes contraction as it cools.
Two teams were eliminated in the contraction of the baseball league.
She felt contractions every two minutes.
First Known Use of contraction
CONTRACTION Defined for Kids
Definition of contraction for Students
1 : the act, process, or result of making or becoming smaller or shorter and broader <contraction of a muscle>
2 : a short form of a word or word group (as don't or they've) produced by leaving out a letter or letters
Medical Definition of contraction
2: the action of a functioning muscle or muscle fiber in which force is generated accompanied especially by shortening and thickening of the muscle or muscle fiber or sometimes by its lengthening <isometric contraction> <isotonic contraction>; especially : the shortening and thickening of a functioning muscle or muscle fiber
3: one of usually a series of rhythmic tightening actions of the uterine muscles (as during menstruation or labor)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up contraction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).