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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Following the news, DeGeneres left the studio immediately, as her COVID safety team informed everyone who had been in contact with the virus. Sydney Odman, Billboard, "Ellen DeGeneres Details COVID-19 Experience in First Show Back," 13 Jan. 2021 The safari park on Monday added more safety measures for its staff, including requiring face shields and eye goggles when working in contact with the animals. Julie Watson, USA TODAY, "Two gorillas test positive for COVID at San Diego zoo in first known cases among primates," 12 Jan. 2021 The safari park on Monday added more safety measures for its staff, including requiring face shields and eye goggles when working in contact with the animals. Julie Watson, ajc, "Gorillas test positive for coronavirus at San Diego park," 11 Jan. 2021 The safari park on Monday added more safety measures for its staff, including requiring face shields and eye goggles when working in contact with the animals. Julie Watson, Star Tribune, "Gorillas test positive for coronavirus at San Diego park," 11 Jan. 2021 The National Guard is authorized to carry out law enforcement activities and will be in continuous contact with the FBI and local law enforcement about possible threats. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "National Guard addresses Capitol response criticism, possible arming for inauguration," 11 Jan. 2021 Use a bent paper clip to keep it in contact with the soil, water as usual, and that’s it! Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "How To Care for a Spider Plant Like a Pro," 10 Jan. 2021 Probable cases are diagnosed by a doctor when someone has been in close contact with an infected person, among other criteria. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, "Ohio reports 8,374 new coronavirus cases, 55 new deaths: Saturday update," 9 Jan. 2021 Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Wednesday afternoon that defense leaders have been in contact with the city and congressional leadership. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump officials resign after Capitol mayhem," 7 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Anyone with information is asked to contact Fairfield police investigators at 707-428-7600. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "Human remains found in Fairfield," 16 Jan. 2021 Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bryant Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at (501) 943-0943. Brianna Kwasnik, Arkansas Online, "Bryant police investigate ATM theft," 16 Jan. 2021 Waters reiterated those investigations are ongoing, and encouraged anyone with information about possible violence this weekend or about the riot at the U.S. Capitol to contact his office. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer calls up National Guard, windows boarded ahead of possible violence Sunday," 15 Jan. 2021 An early step in planning should be to contact a professional fitness trainer. Paul F.p. Pogue/angie’s List Tribune News Service, Star Tribune, "Tips for setting up a home gym," 15 Jan. 2021 Fitzgibbons urged anyone with information about suspicious activity to contact the FBI. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah governor declares state of emergency: what you need to know as police prepare for Capitol protest," 14 Jan. 2021 More than two years later, attorneys representing the families have been unable to contact more than 500 of the parents whose children were taken. Washington Post, "Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ border policy was pushed aggressively by Jeff Sessions, despite warnings, Justice Department review finds," 14 Jan. 2021 Police asked anyone with information or surveillance video from the area to contact dispatch at 911. Anchorage Daily News, "Police searching for suspect in armed robbery at Subway in northeast Anchorage," 14 Jan. 2021 NBC News was unable to contact the Seefrieds through a phone number listed on public records. NBC News, "Man holding Confederate flag in Capitol during pro-Trump riot turns himself in," 14 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As he was carted to the locker room, the non-contact injury had the tell-tale signs of an Achilles rupture — a diagnosis confirmed Monday night. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s secondary must prove depth and versatility are more than merely buzz words," 4 Nov. 2020 But last week against the Minnesota Vikings, Anzalone was called into action after Alexander was carted to the locker room with a non-contact ankle injury that was later revealed to be a torn Achilles tendon. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Without Kwon Alexander, Saints 'confident in ability' of LB Alex Anzalone," 1 Jan. 2021 All guests over 2 years old must wear a mask and pass a non-contact temperature check upon entry, as well as maintain social distancing throughout their visit. Angela Roberts, baltimoresun.com, "Things to do in Baltimore and online Jan. 1-7," 31 Dec. 2020 Keep it hands-free with this non-contact LCD display infrared thermometer. Popular Science, "Enjoy an extra 15 percent off on bestselling health and fitness gadgets and gizmos," 24 Dec. 2020 Los Angeles County health officials were abiding by restrictions that limited teams to non-contact practices in groups of 12 or fewer, making traditional 11-on-11 practices impossible. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "It’s a rivalry ‘game on’ after a Trojan and a Bruin fought on together," 10 Dec. 2020 Center Austin Davis, who scored Michigan's first 10 points, appeared to suffer a non-contact injury to his lower right leg early in the second half while trying to set a screen. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball blows out Toledo, 91-71, in nonconference finale, lose Austin Davis," 10 Dec. 2020 Tailback Myles Gaskin, Miami’s leading rusher, returned to practice on Wednesday, wearing a non-contact jersey. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Christian Wilkins returns from COVID-19 reserve list; Dolphins may have issues at tailback due to injuries," 25 Nov. 2020 Outdoor group fitness activities and outdoor non-contact sports can also resume. Taylor Romine, CNN, "Michigan governor moves state reopening forward, citing encouraging Covid-19 indicators," 18 Dec. 2020

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

borrowed from French & Latin; French, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin contāctus "touching, joining of surfaces, association," from contag-, variant stem of contingere "to be in contact with, arrive at, affect, fall to one's lot" + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at contingent entry 1

Verb

derivative of contact entry 1

Adjective

derivative of contact entry 1

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Time Traveler for contact

Time Traveler

The first known use of contact was in 1626

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Statistics for contact

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contact. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for contact

contact

noun
How to pronounce contact (audio)

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
How to pronounce contact (audio)

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
How to pronounce contact (audio)

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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Comments on contact

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