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 Under the metrics, regions must have a decline in hospitalizations and deaths and meet testing and contact-tracing benchmarks. Fox News, "Cuomo admits 'we all failed' at making coronavirus projections," 26 May 2020 The advent of the Abbott machine has sped up TCC’s ability to do swift contact tracing and isolate people who have tested positive. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "Amid accuracy concerns, Alaska providers use Abbott COVID-19 testing machines with safeguards in place," 25 May 2020 For months, the limits on testing and contact tracing have been a principal barrier to resuming business, social and cultural activities. Washington Post, "D.C. region will have enough testing and tracing capacity by July to contain coronavirus, officials say," 25 May 2020 In any case, experts say, the key to keeping infections low without locking down everyone is to scale up testing and contact tracing. John Lauerman, Bloomberg.com, "Why a Second Wave of Covid-19 Is Already a Worry," 23 May 2020 Now the country, despite some early struggles with contact tracing, has very nearly stamped out the virus, exiting isolation with just 21 deaths and a few dozen active cases. Damien Cave, BostonGlobe.com, "New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sold a drastic lockdown with straight talk and mom jokes," 23 May 2020 That resistance is the crux of the problem with contact tracing, which health experts say is essential to containing the coronavirus. Kate Murphy, New York Times, "Contact Tracing Is Harder Than It Sounds," 23 May 2020 Though it should be noted that countries like Australia and Iceland have entirely different health care systems and took varying steps to break the chain of transmission, including contact tracing and testing. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "What Parents Should Know About Coronavirus as Kids Return to Babysitters, Day Cares and Camps," 23 May 2020 The bill would also require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a national plan for testing and contact tracing. NBC News, "Security firm says North Dakota's contact-tracing app is sending user data to third parties," 22 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That has led to a surge in animal-care check-ins, with 43% of people contacting their veterinarians during quarantine, according to the survey. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows.," 27 May 2020 After contacting the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Findlay Post, two Troopers were dispatched to assist. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio state trooper escorts family of geese across I-75," 26 May 2020 Individuals and groups looking for ways to contribute might contact local agencies to coordinate donations of letters, masks, or other tokens of encouragement for distribution among clients. Popular Science, "COVID-19 is setting back recovery from opioid addiction," 23 May 2020 Parents should contact a health care provider if their children develop the following signs, the CDC says: fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, red eyes, and fatigue. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "3 more Indiana children hospitalized for coronavirus-linked illness," 22 May 2020 The list of places choosing to remain closed was nearly as long as those opting to open among establishments the San Antonio Express-News contacted. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonians toasted all day long at reopened Texas bars Friday after 2-month coronavirus shutdown," 22 May 2020 For more in-depth information on this process, see these guidelines from Purdue, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Indiana State Health Department online, or contact your water utility. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Lead, Legionella: Experts urge building owners to flush their water lines before reopening," 21 May 2020 After the consultation, the practice’s treatment coordinator contacts the patient to discuss financials and the next steps. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "What Exactly Is Telemedicine—and How Does It Work?," 19 May 2020 Others will take the opposite approach, voluntarily providing data to the media when contacted about an outbreak. Arizona Republic, "As Glendale nursing home's deaths rises, it challenges others: Make your COVID-19 cases public," 19 May 2020 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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Time Traveler for contact

Time Traveler

The first known use of contact was in 1626

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Statistics for contact

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contact. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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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