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

That means that if the front and rear ends are traveling at different speeds, the equalization has to happen through slip at the tires' contact patches. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Why the New Jeep Wrangler's Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine Is Totally Worth the Extra Money," 13 Feb. 2019 Any data imported from another social network, such as contacts and demographic information, could have been compromised as well. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Quora data breach FAQ: What 100 million hacked users need to know," 4 Dec. 2018 France Anthony BayAnthony Bay Is EuropeHe has extraordinary historical and regional knowledge and an extensive network of personal contacts who open their homes to his guests. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Sadly, Daniel had a terrible allergic reaction to his green contact lenses and had to stop wearing them, while Emma Watson couldn't speak clearly wearing her false buck teeth. 6. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "33 Mind-Blowing "Harry Potter" Movie Facts That'll Make You Want to Watch Them All Over Again," 31 Jan. 2019 Serious eye health problems may occur as a result of sharing contact lenses. Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Build Your Look Around Your Eye Color," 31 Jan. 2019 This is how the real target — getting to zero net carbon — comes to the US: not in a blinding flash or a big federal bill (at least not at first), but like a virus, or a meme, catching hold and spreading through contact. David Roberts, Vox, "For the first time, a major US utility has committed to 100% clean energy," 5 Dec. 2018 The bacteria can contaminate a wide variety of agricultural products through contact with feces from infected animals. Lena H. Sun, The Seattle Times, "FDA: California is likely source of contaminated romaine lettuce," 26 Nov. 2018 But a small minority of others, most notably the genus Bacillus, tended to spread between lineages, either through the environment or through contact with human handlers. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mammals inherit most of their gut bacteria, new study suggests," 26 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Anyone with questions may contact John Fox at jrfoxx@comcast.net or by 860-658-0388. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 10 July 2018 Anyone with information on the crimes can contact Area Central detectives at 312-747-8384. Paige Fry, chicagotribune.com, "Man in wheelchair lured South Loop robbery victims," 9 July 2018 Police asked tipsters with information about the suspects to contact the department at 760-931-2197. Teri Figueroa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Pair demands free motel room, then steal clerk's car in Carlsbad," 9 July 2018 Sugden has repeatedly stressed that school officials were wrong to contact police after learning of the encounters. Amanda Marrazzo, McHenry County, "Ex-music teacher avoids jail for battery, alcohol offenses after lawyer calls victims 'prima donnas'," 6 July 2018 Washington obtained a video of the assault and sent it to the girl on March 2, 2018, Hamilton said, and the girl or her family contacted police shortly thereafter. Eric Olson, The Seattle Times, "Nebraska RB Washington faces charges tied to assault video," 11 Feb. 2019 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

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 Mar 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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