con·​trac·​tor | \ sense 1 is usually ˈkän-ˌtrak-tər, sense 2 is usually kən-ˈtrak- \

Definition of contractor 

1 : one that contracts or is party to a contract: such as

a : one that contracts to perform work or provide supplies

b : one that contracts to erect buildings

2 : something (such as a muscle) that contracts or shortens

Examples of contractor in a Sentence

They hired a contractor to remodel the kitchen.

Recent Examples on the Web

That will be done through a change order to the contractors. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Escalators at UW light-rail station keep breaking down; Sound Transit will improve them — and open a staircase," 26 Oct. 2018 Law applies only to government contractors While the California law applies to all consumer broadband providers, Vermont's law is narrower and may be more likely to survive legal challenge. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law," 19 Oct. 2018 Microsoft is extending parental leave benefits to contractors, mandating that many employees who work with the company be given 12 weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Microsoft says its US contractors must offer paid parental leave," 31 Aug. 2018 Rossello has proposed privatizing the generation of energy and awarding concessions to private contractors for power transmission and distribution. Michael Weissenstein And Danica Coto, Fox News, "Turmoil slows rebuilding of Puerto Rico's power grid," 19 July 2018 Prosecutors allege Bickers accepted more than $2 million in bribes from 2010 to 2014 in exchange for steering $17 million of city work to two contractors who have already pleaded guilty. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, "Atlanta bribery evidence against Mitzi Bickers includes recordings," 10 July 2018 The three-year window the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority had to freely outsource work to private contractors ended on July 1. Adam Vaccaro,, "MBTA loses reprieve from outsourcing restriction," 6 July 2018 The federal government provides funding to contractors or nonprofit agencies that run the facilities. Skyler Swisher,, "Watchdog to scrutinize shelters for migrant kids, including 3 in South Florida," 28 June 2018 As people shop more online, companies like Amazon are turning to independent contractors—essentially anyone with a car—to drop parcels at homes and businesses. Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, "I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contractor.' 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 contractor

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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The first known use of contractor was in 1548

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English Language Learners Definition of contractor

: a person who is hired to perform work or to provide goods at a certain price or within a certain time


con·​trac·​tor | \ˈkän-ˌtrak-tər, kən-ˈ \

Medical Definition of contractor 

: something (as a muscle) that contracts or shortens


con·​trac·​tor | \ˈkän-ˌtrak-tər, kən-ˈtrak- \

Legal Definition of contractor 

: one that contracts: as

a : one that contracts to perform work or provide supplies

b : one that contracts to erect buildings

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More from Merriam-Webster on contractor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contractor

Spanish Central: Translation of contractor

Nglish: Translation of contractor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contractor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about contractor

Comments on contractor

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having a pattern of small flowers

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