Contraction Con*trac"tion, n. [L. contractio: cf. F. contraction.] 1. The act or process of contracting, shortening, or shrinking; the state of being contracted; as, contraction of the heart, of the pupil of the eye, or of a tendon; the contraction produced by cold. [1913 Webster]

2. (Math.) The process of shortening an operation. [1913 Webster]

3. The act of incurring or becoming subject to, as liabilities, obligation, debts, etc.; the process of becoming subject to; as, the contraction of a disease. [1913 Webster]

4. Something contracted or abbreviated, as a word or phrase; -- as, plenipo for plenipotentiary; crim. con. for criminal conversation, etc. [1913 Webster]

5. (Gram.) The shortening of a word, or of two words, by the omission of a letter or letters, or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one; as, ne'er for never; can't for can not; don't for do not; it's for it is. [1913 Webster]

6. A marriage contract. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • contraction — [ kɔ̃traksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XVe; contraicion 1256; lat. contractio, de contrahere → 2. contracter 1 ♦ Vx Diminution du volume d un corps, sans modification de sa masse. Contraction par le froid, la pression. ♢ Mod. Physiol. Diminution de volume ou de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Contraction — may refer to: In physiology: Muscle contraction, one that occurs when a muscle fiber lengthens or shortens Uterine contraction, contraction of the uterus, such as during childbirth Contraction, a stage in wound healing In linguistics: Synalepha,… …   Wikipedia

  • contraction — CONTRACTION. s. f. Terme de Physique, qui se dit Du raccourcissement qui arrive aux nerfs ou aux muscles lorsqu ils viennent à se etirer. La systole du coeur consiste dans sa contraction. Contraction volontaire, contraction involontaire des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • contraction — CONTRACTION. s. f. Racourcissement des nerfs, des muscles, qui sont retirez. Une grande contraction de nerfs. cette fluxion, cette blessure luy causa la contraction d un tel muscle. Il est aussi usité en Grammaire, où il signifie la reduction de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • contraction — late 14c., action of making a contract (especially of marriage), also action of shrinking or shortening, from O.Fr. contraction (13c.), or directly from L. contractionem (nom. contractio), noun of action from pp. stem of contrahere (see CONTRACT… …   Etymology dictionary

  • contraction — [kən trak′shən] n. [ME contraccioun < OFr contraction < L contractio] 1. a contracting or being contracted 2. the shortening and thickening of a muscle fiber or a muscle in action, esp. of the uterus during labor 3. Gram. a) the shortening… …   English World dictionary

  • Contraction — Contraction. См. Усадка. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • Contraction — (v. lat.), 1) das Zusammenziehen nachgiebiger Theile, vermöge der ihnen eigenthümlichen Contractibilität; Gegensatz: Expansion; 2) (Gramm.), Zusammenziehung zweier od. mehrerer, besonders auszusprechender Vocale desselben Wortes in Einen Laut,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • contraction — index abridgment (condensation), abstract, blockade (limitation), compendium, curtailment, decline …   Law dictionary

  • contraction — [n] drawing in; shortening abbreviating, abbreviation, abridging, abridgment, compression, condensation, condensing, confinement, confining, constriction, curtailing, curtailment, cutting down, decrease, decreasing, deflating, deflation,… …   New thesaurus

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