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contract

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verb

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Synonym Chooser

How is the word contract different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of contract are compress, condense, constrict, deflate, and shrink. While all these words mean "to decrease in bulk or volume," contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length.

caused her muscles to contract

Where would compress be a reasonable alternative to contract?

In some situations, the words compress and contract are roughly equivalent. However, compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance.

compressed cotton into bales

When would condense be a good substitute for contract?

Although the words condense and contract have much in common, condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content.

condense the essay into a paragraph

When is it sensible to use constrict instead of contract?

The words constrict and contract are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter.

the throat is constricted by a tight collar

In what contexts can deflate take the place of contract?

While in some cases nearly identical to contract, deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas.

deflate the balloon

When might shrink be a better fit than contract?

The synonyms shrink and contract are sometimes interchangeable, but shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions.

the sweater will shrink when washed

Thesaurus Entries Near contract

Cite this Entry

“Contract.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/contract. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

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