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

connection

Synonyms: Verb

address, communicate (with), get, reach

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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

After entering all contact, shipping, and credit card info, that's that. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Instagram Just Added a New In-App Shopping Feature," 19 Mar. 2019 Evolutionary biologist Joanne Wright of Griffith University and her colleagues sequenced DNA from 10 Aboriginal Australians who lived before European contact, some as long as 1,540 years ago. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "DNA may reconnect Aboriginal Australian remains with modern communities," 27 Dec. 2018 Apparently, Alexa initiated a series of commands, including to record the conversation as a voice message and then to send it to a random contact, on its own, while the couple was completely unaware. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Amazon sent 1,700 Alexa voice recordings to the wrong user following data request," 20 Dec. 2018 The collection is available in Stella McCartney stores by private appointment (contact privateclientus@stellamccartney.com to schedule or book online) and through select retailers including Nordstrom. Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "Stella McCartney's New Bridal Collection Includes Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress," 13 Nov. 2018 Search already covers contacts, files, deliveries, and reservations (like flights), and will add calendar events in the coming months. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft upgrades Outlook Mobile, but restricting personal email may be one of the changes," 25 Sep. 2018 Tibbo said Hong Kong rejected Rodel’s asylum request and since then officials there have grilled her over her contacts with Snowden, who now lives in exile in Russia. Rob Gillies, The Seattle Times, "Canada takes refugee who sheltered Snowden," 26 Mar. 2019 Who needs human contact when there's so much good stuff to watch? Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "12 TV Shows and Movies to Watch That Will Drastically Improve Your Week," 17 Mar. 2019 The next steps are to create more stability with smaller contact surfaces, like thinner tree branches. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Clever New Landing Gear Allow Drones To Set Down Like Birds or Bats," 13 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Utah State Parks Authorities then looked up the vehicle information and contacted Larsen's family, the news release said. Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "They found his sandals and car keys on the beach. It was days before they found his body," 11 July 2018 The place is listed at $649,000, and interested parties may contact Chris Smith at 504-231-2004. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Would You Live in This Converted Gas Station in New Orleans?," 1 Feb. 2019 Anyone who spots the kangaroo is urged to contact FWC at 888-404-3922. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Kangaroo bolts from South Florida sanctuary, on the loose," 25 Sep. 2018 Any female students who attended Waukesha West High School in the spring of 2017 and who may have had lunch of class with Schwantes and wore dresses or skirts, are asked to contact Detective Mike Carpenter at 262-524-3923. Serena Sonoma, Teen Vogue, "A Teen Allegedly Recorded Videos Up Girls' Skirts at School," 3 Aug. 2018 Investigators urge anyone with information about Salcito to contact Detective Michael Shiner at 561-243-7828 or by email at Shiner@mydelraybeach.com. Tonya Alanez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Woman found in Delray garden died violently, police say," 13 July 2018 Anyone with information is asked to contact Fife at 219-391-8326 or anonymously call 219-391-8500. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Man fatally shot in East Chicago alley, police say," 11 July 2018 In the meantime, whitehats can contact Helm security people at security@thehelm.com. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Meet Helm, the startup taking on Gmail with a server that runs in your home," 17 Oct. 2018 Cable advised users who have lost data to contact Microsoft support at 1-800-MICROSOFT to try and recover the data. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft restarts Windows 10 October 2018 Update, blaming data loss on misdirected folders," 9 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Contact neighborhoods reporter Ruth Serven at ruth.serven@indystar.com. Ruth Serven, Indianapolis Star, "Indy tightens rules to force landlords to clean up trashy houses, but realty agents say it won't matter," 10 July 2017 Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact 847-549-1972 or www.austinssaloon.com. Shonda Talerico Dudlicek, Lake County News-Sun, "Libertyville's Austin Saloon adapts with owners' life changes," 20 June 2017

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, Verb, and Adjective

French or Latin; French, from Latin contactus, from contingere to have contact with — more at contingent

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Statistics for contact

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contact

The first known use of contact was in 1626

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on contact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contact

Spanish Central: Translation of contact

Nglish: Translation of contact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contact for Arabic Speakers

Comments on contact

What made you want to look up contact? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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