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

The virus is most often spread by close contact with the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms and with objects such as sheets that have been contaminated. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Why 2nd-worst Ebola outbreak is growing concern," 13 Apr. 2019 Denim tends to be a thick, usually rough fabric—not the kind made for contact with your delicate parts. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Denim Underwear Is a Thing—One New York Ob-Gyn Weighs In on Going Commando," 1 Apr. 2019 Now the government is back (at least for the time being), NASA can get back to work on a mission that's been ongoing for six months: trying to reestablish contact with the Mars rover Opportunity. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Is Making Its Last-Chance Attempt to Save the Opportunity Rover," 29 Jan. 2019 The White House did not return a request for comment on who had been in contact with Kolfage or where the money would wind up. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Donald Trump would like to stop talking about the wall now," 20 Dec. 2018 Close have already explored introducing physical contact with actors while in virtual environments. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Chained mixes virtual reality and live actors to tell a dark Christmas tale," 5 Dec. 2018 The agency hopes that now that the dust is settling out of the Martian skies, the rover's solar panels will be able to successfully charge so the can robot re-establish contact with Earth. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "NASA Starts 45-Day Clock to Contact Mars Rover Opportunity as Dust Storm Wanes," 12 Sep. 2018 The jelly has a similar feel and finish of a water-gel cream: Cool upon contact with a dewy dry down. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Clinique Launches Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly — a Gel Version of Its Classic Moisturizer," 6 Aug. 2018 But the prep work is non-negotiable and delivers a quantifiable payoff: nods of recognition and appreciation for real-life contact with a landmark or experience baked into the master itinerary. Amy Tara Koch, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Plan a Family Trip to Ireland," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Uribe was first contacted by the Met to sell the symmetrical, barely-there beer-can dresses that debuted on the Fall 2018 Gypsy Sport runway in the exhibit’s accompanying gift shop pop-up. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Big Freedia’s Bottlecap-Studded Tuxedo Is a Sustainable Showstopper," 6 May 2019 Presumably, those users who have not been contacted are unaffected. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hackers reportedly abused Microsoft's customer support to read Hotmail, Outlook.com email," 15 Apr. 2019 Many months' worth of attempts to contact the craft failed. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Says Goodnight to Opportunity, Its Most Enduring Mars Rover," 13 Feb. 2019 Smith said executives reviewed the decision after being contacted by journalists, including The Verge. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram’s verification system is useful, fair, and Twitter should copy it," 29 Aug. 2018 The Trump administration does not approach this mission lightly.’’ The officials said 46 of the children were not eligible to be reunited with their parents; a dozen parents had already been deported and were being contacted by the administration. Colleen Long, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump administration says 57 small children reunited with family, 46 deemed ineligible," 12 July 2018 Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homewood Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit at 708/206-3420. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland police blotter," 3 July 2018 Industry sources PCWorld contacted said that the roadmaps appear to be correct, though without confirming specifics. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Leaked Intel roadmaps call Intel's 10nm transition into question yet again," 26 Apr. 2019 For urgent support or help, contact The Trevor Project. Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "LGBTQ Teens Share Their Experiences Attending Prom," 11 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

16 May 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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