- 1 NAmE//kənˈtrækt//[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
- 2NAmE//kənˈtrækt//[transitive] contract something (medical) to get an illness to contract AIDS/a virus/a disease
- 3NAmE//ˈkɑntrækt//, 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 NAmE//ˈkɑntrækt//, 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.
- 5NAmE//ˈkɑntrækt//, NAmE//kənˈtrækt//[transitive] contract a marriage/an alliance (with someone) (formal) to formally agree to marry somebody/form an alliance with someone Phrasal Verbsconˌtract somethingˈout (to somebody)
verbVerb Forms present simple I / you / we / they contractjump to other results
he / she / it contracts
past simple contracted
-ing form contracting