1

contact

noun con·tact \ ˈkän-ˌtakt \
Updated on: 6 Dec 2017

Definition of contact

1 a : 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.
2 a : 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.

Examples of contact in a Sentence

  1. Physical contact between a mother and child is very important.

  2. a disease that is spread by sexual contact

  3. Contacts between the two leaders have been frequent in recent weeks.

  4. I applied for a job at that law firm because I have a contact there.

Recent Examples of contact from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of contact

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


2

contact

verb con·tact \ ˈkän-ˌtakt , kən-ˈtakt \

Definition of contact

intransitive verb
: to make contact
  • the point at which the two surfaces contact
transitive verb
1 : to bring into contact
2 a : to enter or be in contact with : join
  • The spark contacted the gunpowder.
b : to get in communication with
  • Contact your local dealer.

Is contact a 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

  1. For more information, contact the city's tourism office.

  2. We were able to contact them by radio.

  3. She contacted everyone on the list.

Recent Examples of contact from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of contact

contact Synonyms

Synonyms
address, communicate (with), get, reach, get hold of, get (or keep) in touch with, touch base (with)
Related Words
get through (to); acquaint, advise, apprise, brief, clue, enlighten, familiarize, fill in, inform, instruct, notify, tell, wise (up); buzz, call, phone, ring (up) [chiefly British], telephone; keep up (with)

3

contact

adjective con·tact \ ˈkän-ˌtakt \

Definition of contact

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

Examples of contact in a Sentence

  1. Ice hockey is a contact sport.

Recent Examples of contact from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of contact



CONTACT Defined for English Language Learners

contact

noun

Definition of contact for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of contact for English Language Learners

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


contact

adjective

Definition of contact for English Language Learners

  • sports : allowing players to touch or hit each other

  • : acting when physical contact occurs


CONTACT Defined for Kids

1

contact

noun con·tact \ ˈkän-ˌtakt \

Definition of contact for Students

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.

Word Root of contact

The Latin word tangere, meaning “to touch,” and its form tactus give us the roots tang and tact. Words from the Latin tangere have something to do with touching. Something tangible is able to be touched. Contact is a meeting or touching of people or things. Something intact is unharmed, whole, and untouched. Anything tactile relates to the sense of touch.


2

contact

verb

Definition of contact for Students

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

3

contact

adjective

Definition of contact for Students

: involving or activated by physical interaction
  • contact sports
  • contact poisons

Medical Dictionary

1

contact

noun con·tact \ ˈkän-ˌtakt \

medical Definition of contact

1 : union or junction of body surfaces
  • sexual contact
2 a : 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

2

contact

adjective

medical Definition of contact

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of very fine texture or delicate form

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!