Dictionary

contraction

noun con·trac·tion \kən-ˈtrak-shən\

: 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

1
a :  the action or process of contracting :  the state of being contracted
b :  the shortening and thickening of a functioning muscle or muscle fiber
c :  a reduction in business activity or growth
2
:  a shortening of a word, syllable, or word group by omission of a sound or letter; also :  a form produced by such shortening
con·trac·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
con·trac·tive \kən-ˈtrak-tiv, ˈkän-ˌ\ adjective
con·trac·tion·ary \kən-ˈtrak-shə-ˌner-ē\ adjective

Examples of CONTRACTION

  1. The hot metal undergoes contraction as it cools.
  2. Two teams were eliminated in the contraction of the baseball league.
  3. She felt contractions every two minutes.
  4. The word don't is a contraction of do not.

First Known Use of CONTRACTION

15th century
CONTRACTIONAL Defined for Kids

contraction

noun con·trac·tion \kən-ˈtrak-shən\

Definition of CONTRACTION for Kids

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 Dictionary

contraction

noun con·trac·tion \kən-ˈtrak-shən\

Medical Definition of CONTRACTION

1
:  the action or process of contracting :  the state of being contracted <contraction of hepatitis> <lung expansion and contraction in breathing—P. G. Donohue>
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)

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