con·​tact | \ ˈkän-ˌtakt How to pronounce contact (audio) \

Definition of contact

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : union or junction of surfaces Cooling begins when the lava makes contact with the air.
b : the apparent touching or mutual tangency of the limbs of two celestial bodies or of the disk of one body with the shadow of another during an eclipse, transit, or occultation
c(1) : the junction of two electrical conductors through which a current passes
(2) : a special part made for such a junction The camera's flash wasn't working because the electrical contacts needed to be cleaned.
2a : association, relationship students and teachers in daily contact
b : connection, communication I lost contact with her years ago.
c : an establishing of communication with someone or an observing or receiving of a significant signal from a person or object radar contact with Mars
3 : a person serving as a go-between, messenger, connection, or source of special information business contacts
4 : contact lens She wears contacts more often than glasses.


con·​tact | \ ˈkän-ˌtakt How to pronounce contact (audio) , kən-ˈtakt \
contacted; contacting; contacts

Definition of contact (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to make contact the point at which the two surfaces contact

transitive verb

1 : to bring into contact
2a : to enter or be in contact with : join The spark contacted the gunpowder.
b : to get in communication with Contact your local dealer.


con·​tact | \ ˈkän-ˌtakt How to pronounce contact (audio) \

Definition of contact (Entry 3 of 3)

: maintaining, involving, or activated or caused by contact contact poisons contact sports contact dermatitis

Synonyms for contact

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Is contact a verb?: Usage Guide


The use of contact as a verb, especially in sense 2b, is accepted as standard by almost all commentators except those who write college handbooks.

Examples of contact in a Sentence

Noun Physical contact between a mother and child is very important. a disease that is spread by sexual contact Contacts between the two leaders have been frequent in recent weeks. I applied for a job at that law firm because I have a contact there. Verb For more information, contact the city's tourism office. We were able to contact them by radio. She contacted everyone on the list. Adjective Ice hockey is a contact sport. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The fifth inning brought more contact — a third Oriole single and two fly balls — and strikeout No. 9 for Skubal, getting Rylan Bannon on a 95.1 mph four-seamer up in the strike zone. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 15 May 2022 Travelers who book directly on the site are instantly set up with a phone number, a WhatsApp contact, and an email for the local insiders that guests can use to reach out for everything from activity recommendations to restaurant reservations. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 14 May 2022 Thus, merely because Jeudy and the woman have a son, their no-physical-contact encounter was deemed domestic violence. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 13 May 2022 For more information, contact Dan Gallagher at or Frank Forrest at or 860-690-2845. Hartford Courant, 12 May 2022 Once Were Warriors director Tamahori can guarantee full-on action but this title, set in 1830s New Zealand against the early, and violent, contact between European settlers and Maori tribes, should also appeal to higher-end theatrical distributors. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2022 Mann also must not have contact with witnesses or minors, including his ex-wife and two sons, ages 14 and 18. oregonlive, 6 May 2022 In September 2021, a contact of Sorey called New Hampshire officials to say Sorey had not seen her daughter since 2019. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 To block infections entirely, scientists want to deliver inoculations to the site where the virus first makes contact: the nose. Marla Broadfoot, Scientific American, 3 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Anyone with information on Ruach’s whereabouts is asked to contact the fugitive task force by calling Crime Stoppers of Atlanta at 404-577-8477. Jozsef Papp, ajc, 18 May 2022 Police asked anyone with information to contact Det. Amaris Encinas, The Arizona Republic, 18 May 2022 Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Baltimore homicide detectives at (410) 396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. Tristan Balagtas,, 17 May 2022 Baltimore Police homicide detectives asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact them at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup. Lea Skene, Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 203-924-1544. Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant, 16 May 2022 The North Regional Major Crimes Task Force was investigating the shooting, but Skokie police asked anyone with information to contact investigators at 847-982-5900 or the 24-hour Skokie Crime Tip hotline at 847-933-8477. Deanese Williams-harris, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2022 Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is asked to contact the Tallassee Police Department at 334-283-6586 or call 911. Mary Colurso |, al, 14 May 2022 The Homer Police Department says the investigation remains ongoing and anyone who has information is asked to contact the Homer Police Department at 907-235-3150. Veronica Fulton, NBC News, 12 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Redshirt freshman linebacker Jaydon Williams injured his knee in non-contact special teams work on Saturday and had to be helped from the field. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 29 Mar. 2022 As a disclaimer: Auburn and coach Bryan Harsin have requested that reporters do not mention players who are injured or restricted (i.e. not participating or in non-contact jerseys) or whether a play is missing from practice. Tom Green |, al, 21 Mar. 2022 During the non-contact group workout, Wiseman impressed, picking up concepts quickly and flashing his considerable skill. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Feb. 2022 Redshirt sophomore linebacker Caleb McCullough participated in light drills but was wearing a green non-contact jersey. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 29 Mar. 2022 He has been limited so far this spring due to injury, still participating in 7-on-7 periods and position drills but being held out of live periods while sporting that yellow non-contact jersey. Tom Green |, al, 29 Mar. 2022 Last month, Johnson did side work with a non-contact jersey. Phil Thompson,, 24 Feb. 2022 Caruso heavily favored his right wrist in a series of non-contact three-on-two drills, almost exclusively dribbling and passing with his left hand. Julia Poe,, 1 Mar. 2022 Hoke said cornerbacks Dallas Branch and Noah Avinger both had offseason surgery and will be limited to non-contact drills during the spring. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of contact


1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1834, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contact


borrowed from French & Latin; French, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin contāctus "touching, joining of surfaces, association," from contag-, variant stem of contingere "to be in contact with, arrive at, affect, fall to one's lot" + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at contingent entry 1


derivative of contact entry 1


derivative of contact entry 1

Learn More About contact

Time Traveler for contact

Time Traveler

The first known use of contact was in 1626

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Dictionary Entries Near contact



contact acid

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Statistics for contact

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for contact


con·​tact | \ ˈkän-ˌtakt How to pronounce contact (audio) \

Kids Definition of contact

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a meeting or touching of persons or things
2 : communication with other people Have you been in contact with her? He has no outside contact.
3 : a person someone knows who serves as a connection especially in the business or political world I've got contacts in the company.


contacted; contacting

Kids Definition of contact (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to touch or make touch physically
2 : to get in touch or communication with



Kids Definition of contact (Entry 3 of 3)

: involving or activated by physical interaction contact sports contact poisons


con·​tact | \ ˈkän-ˌtakt How to pronounce contact (audio) \

Medical Definition of contact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : union or junction of body surfaces sexual contact
2a : the junction of two electrical conductors through which a current passes
b : a special part that has been made for such a junction
3 : direct experience through the senses loss of contact with reality



Medical Definition of contact (Entry 2 of 2)

: caused or transmitted by direct or indirect contact (as with an allergen or a contagious disease) a contact allergy

More from Merriam-Webster on contact

Nglish: Translation of contact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contact for Arabic Speakers


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