contact

noun
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.

contact

verb
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.

contact

adjective
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

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Synonyms for contact

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Is contact a verb?: Usage Guide

Verb

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The spring sports season, which includes baseball, softball, track and field, golf, tennis, lacrosse and girls soccer, involves the least amount of close contact compared to fall and winter sports, according to Uyl. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Why Michigan high school sports won't be following Whitmer's two-week pause suggestion," 9 Apr. 2021 Oyster mushrooms poison and paralyze nematodes within minutes of contact, inject their filaments into the corpses, dissolve the contents and absorb the slurry. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, "How a Carnivorous Mushroom Poisons Its Prey," 8 Apr. 2021 Brown tore his Achilles against Penn State and won’t be back to 100 percent until fall camp, while Banks is also being held out of contact. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s lack of secondary depth puts spring pressure on Lejond Cavazos and Ryan Watts," 7 Apr. 2021 At least 71 close contacts of bar attendees were reported; of the 37 who were tested, 17 tested positive within two weeks of the contact. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Bar COVID-19 Outbreak: How One Party Led to 46 Coronavirus Cases and a School Closure," 6 Apr. 2021 All patients, hospital workers and any other persons suspected of contact would have been treated to stop the epidemic in its tracks. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, "Pfizer’s New Oral Protease Inhibitor Could Possibly Treat And Prevent Covid-19," 5 Apr. 2021 Of the 37 close contacts tested for Covid-19, 17 tested positive within 14 days of contact. Ashley Ahn, CNN, "Illinois bar opening event linked to 46 Covid-19 cases, a school closure and hospitalization, CDC report says," 5 Apr. 2021 Jaylan Jeffers is limited due to a left arm injury from the fall and could be held out of contact in the spring. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "How Oregon’s offensive line stacks up during spring practice," 2 Apr. 2021 While being outdoors is safer than indoors, attending a game also involves a lot of social contact with people who are not members of your family — especially in crowded spots. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, "Experts rate the risk of activities reopening in the Bay Area," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In most states, a therapist has a legal obligation to contact law enforcement if a patient talks credibly about killing herself. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, "A Mysterious Suicide Cluster," 12 Apr. 2021 Three-star defensive end Darren Agu, who announced Friday his verbal commitment to Notre Dame, indicated that Bowden was the first Irish staff member to contact him. Tyler James, The Indianapolis Star, "Notebook: Brian Kelly makes reps for Notre Dame's early enrolled freshmen a priority," 11 Apr. 2021 Unable to contact Millete, her brother went to her home Friday. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Three months later, investigation and searches continue in disappearance of Chula Vista mom," 11 Apr. 2021 One student disappeared from Elias’s lessons last semester, and the family did not respond to his frequent attempts to contact them. Washington Post, "The pandemic forced these high-schoolers to work full time. So they’re going to class at night.," 11 Apr. 2021 Consumers with questions can contact Yusef Robb at 323-384-1789 or by email at yusef@tkcommunicationsllc.com, the alert said. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "USDA issues public health alert for more than 211,000 pounds of ground turkey for possible salmonella risk," 11 Apr. 2021 Charles Schwab made several attempts to contact Spadoni but was unsuccessful, reports say. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Louisiana sheriff’s dispatcher accused of refusing to return accidental $1.2 million deposit," 11 Apr. 2021 For an application and details, visit online at www.firstelectric.coop/scholarship or contact any First Electric office. Arkansas Online, "Calendar 4-11-21," 11 Apr. 2021 The national spotlight on the vote in Alabama has also encouraged more than 1,000 Amazon workers around the country to contact the retail union in recent weeks. BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon union vote raises questions for labor advocates," 10 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Gabriel, who spent the day in a grey non-contact jersey, also hauled in a 22-yard pass from receiver Ryan O’Keefe in the second quarter. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF spring game highlights strides Knights have made under new coach Gus Malzahn," 10 Apr. 2021 However, Burke is also a non-contact participant coming off of a shoulder injury. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Why Harry Miller is limited in spring practice and other Ohio State football injury news," 22 Mar. 2021 Forward Alexander Radulov was on the ice for morning skate wearing a gray non-contact jersey. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "New father John Klingberg scores goal in return to Stars lineup Tuesday night," 9 Mar. 2021 Kuemper left the game early in the third period with an unspecified but seemingly non-contact injury. Jose M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, "Fast start, wild finish for Coyotes in thrilling win over Avalanche," 8 Mar. 2021 Newhook has yet to suit up for BC this season after sustaining an injury, but is back on the ice for practice, wearing a non-contact jersey and inching closer to a return. Andrew Mahoney, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston College, Boston University resume crosstown rivalry," 4 Feb. 2021 Some non-contact sports such as tennis, golf and cross country were allowed in pockets of the state. Mitch Stephens, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. high schools will resume athletics April 12, but without football and basketball," 17 Mar. 2021 Non-contact sports for the winter season include cheerleading, swimming and diving. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Akron schools lay out plan for winter sports, will rapid test basketball, wrestling student athletes," 2 Nov. 2020 West and Ben Scott were both in green non-contact jerseys. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, "ASU football team starts spring football with lofty expectations," 4 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of contact

Noun

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1834, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contact

Noun

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

Verb

derivative of contact entry 1

Adjective

derivative of contact entry 1

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Time Traveler for contact

Time Traveler

The first known use of contact was in 1626

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Statistics for contact

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contact. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for contact

contact

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contact

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the state or condition that exists when two people or things physically touch each other : a state of touching
: the state or condition that exists when people see and communicate with each other
: an occurrence in which people communicate with each other

contact

verb

English Language Learners Definition of contact (Entry 2 of 3)

: to call or write to (someone or something) : to communicate with (someone or something)

contact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of contact (Entry 3 of 3)

sports : allowing players to touch or hit each other
: acting when physical contact occurs

contact

noun
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.

contact

verb
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

contact

adjective

Kids Definition of contact (Entry 3 of 3)

: involving or activated by physical interaction contact sports contact poisons

contact

noun
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

contact

adjective

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

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Comments on contact

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