American English

Definition of contract verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    verbVerb Forms present simple I / you / we / they contract
    he / she / it contracts
    past simple contracted
    -ing form contracting
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  1. 1
    [intransitive, transitive] to become less or smaller; to make something become less or smaller Glass contracts as it cools. The universe is expanding rather than contracting. a contracting market The heart muscles contract to expel the blood. contract something The exercise consists of stretching and contracting the leg muscles. contract something to something “I will” is usually contracted to “I'll” (= made shorter). opposite expand
  2. 2
    [transitive] contract something (medical) to get an illness to contract AIDS/a virus/a disease
  3. 3
    , NAmE//kənˈtrækt//
    [transitive] to make a legal agreement with someone for them to work for you or provide you with a service contract somebody to do something The player is contracted to play until August. contract somebody (to something) Several computer engineers have been contracted to the finance department.
  4. 4
    , NAmE//kənˈtrækt//
    [intransitive] contract to do something to make a legal agreement to work for someone or provide them with a service She has contracted to work 20 hours a week.
  5. 5
    , NAmE//kənˈtrækt//
    [transitive] contract a marriage/an alliance (with someone) (formal) to formally agree to marry somebody/form an alliance with someone
  6. Phrasal Verbscontract somethingout (to somebody)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: contract