American English

Definition of contact noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    act of communicating
  1. 1[uncountable] contact (with somebody) contact (between A and B) the act of communicating with someone, especially regularly I don't have much contact with my uncle. There is little contact between the two organizations. Have you kept in contact with any of your friends from college (= do you still see them or speak or write to them)? She's lost contact with (= no longer sees or writes to) her son. I finally made contact with (= succeeded in speaking to or meeting) her in Paris. The organization put me in contact with other people in a similar position (= gave me their addresses or telephone numbers). two people avoiding eye contact (= avoiding looking directly at each other) Here's my contact number (= temporary telephone number) while I'm away.
  2. touching someone or something
  3. 2[uncountable] the state of touching something His fingers were briefly in contact with the ball. This substance should not come into contact with food. a fear of physical contact She blushed at the sudden contact of his hand against her arm. This pesticide kills insects on contact (= as soon as it touches them). This chemical is liable to explode on contact with water.
  4. meeting someone or something
  5. 3[uncountable] the state of meeting someone or having to deal with something In her job she often comes into contact with (= meets) lawyers. Children should be brought into contact with poetry at an early age.
  6. relationship
  7. 4[countable, usually plural] an occasion on which you meet or communicate with someone; a relationship with someone We have good contacts with the local community. The company has maintained trade contacts with India.
  8. person
  9. 5[countable] a person that you know, especially someone who can be helpful to you in your work social/personal contacts I've made some useful contacts in journalism. She has several contacts in New York.
  10. for eyes
  11. 6contacts [plural] (informal) = contact lens
  12. electrical
  13. 7[countable] an electrical connection The switches close the contacts and complete the circuit.
  14. medical
  15. 8[countable] a person who may be infectious because he or she has recently been near to someone with a contagious disease
  16. Idioms
    point of contact
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    a place where you go or a person that you speak to when you are dealing with an organization The receptionist is the first point of contact most people have with the clinic.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: contact