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 Both Kavanaugh and the woman were heavily intoxicated at the time, according to Stier’s account, as described by people familiar with the contacts between him and Coons and others who have spoken with Stier since Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Jackie Calmes, Los Angeles Times, "New reporting details how FBI limited investigation of Kavanaugh allegations," 16 Sep. 2019 The iOS version, which debuted this weekend, has a singular function: to suggest the probability, on a 100-point scale, that the contact is romantically interested. Wired, "Flirty or Friendzone? New AI Scans Your Texts for True Love," 16 Sep. 2019 Use the contact information above for more information. John Goodspeed, ExpressNews.com, "Scouting interesting stuff to make hunts more fun," 12 Sep. 2019 Similarly, physicists assume a coffee cup cannot be here and there because something has collapsed its superposition one way or the other—perhaps contact with the surroundings. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Twist on ‘survival of the fittest’ could explain how reality emerges from the quantum haze," 12 Sep. 2019 People familiar with the contacts indicated that includes consultation with Jared Kushner. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday set sentencing for Dec. 18 for President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn as prosecutors warned they reserved the option to recommend prison time instead of probation for Flynn.," 11 Sep. 2019 Police are asking that anyone with information about Salvador De Dios’ death or anyone who may have seen the vehicle contact Detective Chad Lampson at 303-739-6013 or Denver Metro Crime Stoppers anonymously at 720-913-7867. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Aurora police still searching for witnesses of woman’s killing before vehicle fire on I-225," 11 Sep. 2019 Fields had seven seconds with which to work from the snap of the ball to the contact from Bearcats linebacker Bryan White. Nathan Baird, cleveland.com, "Ohio State football quarterback Justin Fields still honing awareness after ‘bad sack’ against Cincinnati," 10 Sep. 2019 But the contact with Warren appears to have been more than a courtesy call or a trip to the principal's office. NBC News, "Warren and Clinton talk behind the scenes as 2020 race intensifies," 7 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Alibaba then vets them based on category and quality, and will contact merchants within 72 hours to gauge if their products are a fit, Yi said. Washington Post, "Alibaba Aims to Double Global Brands With New English Site," 18 Sep. 2019 Those with questions should contact the challenge program teacher at their child’s school, Katy ISD officials said. Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, "Gifted and talented screening for 5th graders at Katy ISD," 16 Sep. 2019 The allegation in the book hinged on the recollection of a Yale classmate who The Times reported contacted the FBI and lawmakers during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "New York Times' botched Kavanaugh story the latest in series of blunders from Opinion section," 16 Sep. 2019 An elementary school student in Texas died after contacting a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a local lake, her family confirmed. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "10-year-old Texas girl dies from brain-eating amoeba after swimming in the Brazos River," 16 Sep. 2019 At least twice, Gase was contacted about coaching the Browns earlier this decade. Terry Pluto, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Browns: Can they avoid being sucked into New York drama?," 15 Sep. 2019 When contacted, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House did not provide a comment regarding the trips. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Ben Carson to visit San Francisco next week to address homelessness," 15 Sep. 2019 Both firms stress that the kits should not prevent victims from being examined at a hospital or contacting authorities. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: Me Too? Nope. Count me and others out on these home rape-kit efforts," 14 Sep. 2019 Luthmann and his co-conspirator found a company in California that wanted scrap metal, contacted the firm using their real names and real bank accounts, and tried to pocket $31,500 from that company—without shipping anything at all. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "Fraudsters made a local panhandler president of a shell company to hide their scheme," 12 Sep. 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

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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Statistics for contact

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for contact

The first known use of contact was in 1626

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on contact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contact

Spanish Central: Translation of contact

Nglish: Translation of contact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contact for Arabic Speakers

Comments on contact

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