- 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’ and ‘I shall’ are usually contracted to ‘I'll’ (= made shorter). opposite expand See related entries: Materials and properties
- 2[transitive] contract something (formal or medical) to get an illness to contract AIDS/a virus/a disease See related entries: Being ill
- 3[transitive] to make a legal agreement with somebody 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[intransitive] contract to do something to make a legal agreement to work for somebody or provide them with a service She has contracted to work 20 hours a week.
- 5[transitive] contract a marriage/an alliance (with somebody) (formal) to formally agree to marry somebody/form an alliance with somebody More Like This Pronunciation changes by part of speech abuse, alternate, advocate, approximate, contract, converse, convict, decrease, delegate, discount, duplicate, estimate, export, extract, graduate, import, intimate, moderate, object, permit, present, protest, record, refund, refuse, subject, suspect, survey, torment, upgradeSee worksheet. Word Origin Middle English: via Old French from Latin contractus, from contract-
verbjump to other results
BrE BrE//kənˈtrækt//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtrækt//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they contract
BrE BrE//kənˈtrækt//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtrækt//he / she / it contracts
BrE BrE//kənˈtrækts//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtrækts//past simple contracted
BrE BrE//kənˈtræktɪd//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtræktɪd//past participle contracted
BrE BrE//kənˈtræktɪd//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtræktɪd//-ing form contracting
BrE BrE//kənˈtræktɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtræktɪŋ//Materials and properties, Being ill