contact

noun
con·​tact | \ ˈkän-ˌtakt \

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 , 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 \

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

While this is not the same group who would be using talc cosmetically, presumably miners would be in contact with higher levels of talc over a longer period of time. Tara C. Smith, SELF, "How Worried Do You Need to Be About Asbestos in Baby Powder and Other Talc Products?," 31 Jan. 2019 The Family Action helpline has been open for around a year through a pilot, and so far about 1,000 people have been in contact—but that could now increase after the high-profile royal visit. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Experiences as a Mother Have Profoundly Shaped Her Focus for 2019," 23 Jan. 2019 Vince Lewis, authorities are in contact with the mother but declined to identify her. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Infant Girl Found Dead in Amazon Warehouse," 17 Jan. 2019 If that was the final time Jack and Nicky were in contact, that means Jack last spoke to his younger brother when the Big Three kids were about 12 years old (Kevin, Randall, and Kate were born in 1980). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Best 'This Is Us' Recap of Episode 10 From Season 3," 16 Jan. 2019 That includes the name and contact info — phone numbers and emails — for all 29 million people. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook’s massive security hack was smaller than reported, but 29 million people still had their personal info stolen," 12 Oct. 2018 This chick could do literally everything, from storing contact info, to controlling the temperature in the house. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "How Does Disney's Smart House Compare To Today's Smart Home Technology?," 7 Aug. 2018 In fairness, the control servers the malware contacts are no longer available on the Internet. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Four months after its debut, sneaky Mac malware went undetected by AV providers," 21 Dec. 2018 The contact pushes springs that trigger a blast of nitrogen gas that stirs up pieces of the regolith. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Spacecraft That's About to Play Tag with an Asteroid," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The pair claimed that Facebook never contacted them about the matter, but a Daily Beast report confirmed that the company, in fact, did. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Diamond and Silk, Fox & Friends’ favorite black Trump supporters, explained," 5 Feb. 2019 Health officials in both Illinois and Iowa said that people who experienced similar symptoms after eating at McDonald’s should contact a doctor for testing and possible treatment. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "McDonald’s Removes Salads Linked to Intestinal Parasite Outbreak in Midwest," 13 July 2018 Wisconsin law states that someone arrested under suspicion of domestic violence cannot contact the victim for 72 hours. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man led police on car chase after strangling wife in Franklin, complaint says," 11 July 2018 Candice Mushatt, Flint’s public information officer, said in an email that neither Musk nor anyone representing him had contacted the city. Jamie Butters, BostonGlobe.com, "Elon Musk pledges to pay for clean water to homes in Flint, Mich.," 11 July 2018 Meanwhile, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman said in a post on Twitter that some Republicans close to the White House had been contacted and told that Kethledge was not receiving the nomination. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Reports: It looks like Kethledge is out as court pick," 9 July 2018 Jenkins claimed Michael Arno, the president of the firm, had told him at multiple points that the Cruz campaign had contacted him to inquire about his work for the Jenkins campaign. Patrick Svitek, star-telegram, "After failing to crash Texas’ Senate race, independent candidate alleges Cruz campaign derailed him," 7 July 2018 She was given a second opportunity at stardom when producers contacted her before this season and offered her the chance to perform during the Blind Auditions. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "What to Know About 'The Voice' Finalist Chevel Shepherd Before Voting for Her Tonight," 17 Dec. 2018 Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said Jordan had not been contacted by investigators and pledged to assist them. Will Garbe, ajc, "Rep. Jim Jordan denies knowledge of Ohio State abuse claims: 'I would have done something'," 4 July 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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Learn More about contact

Statistics for contact

Last Updated

7 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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