'Contraction' definitions:

Definition of 'contraction'

From: WordNet
(physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber) [syn: contraction, muscular contraction, muscle contraction]
The process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together; "the contraction of a gas on cooling" [syn: compression, condensation, contraction]
A word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds; "`won't' is a contraction of `will not'"; "`o'clock' is a contraction of `of the clock'"
The act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope [ant: enlargement, expansion]

Definition of 'Contraction'

  • 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]