contraction
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /kɒnˈtɹæk.ʃən/, /kənˈtɹæk.ʃən/
  • (America) IPA: /kənˈtɹæk.ʃən/
Noun

contraction

  1. A reversible reduction in size.
  2. (economics) A period of economic decline or negative growth.
    The country's economic contraction was caused by high oil prices.
  3. (biology) A shortening of a muscle when it is used.
  4. (medicine) A strong and often painful shortening of the uterine muscles prior to or during childbirth.
  5. (linguistics) A process whereby one or more sounds of a free morpheme (a word) are lost or reduced, such that it becomes a bound morpheme (a clitic) that attaches phonologically to an adjacent word.
    In English didn't, that's, and wanna, the endings -n't, -'s, and -a arose by contraction.
  6. (English orthography) A word with omitted letters replaced by an apostrophe, usually resulting from the above process.
    "Don't" is a contraction of "do not."
  7. A shorthand symbol indicating an omission for the purpose of brevity.
  8. (medicine) The process of contracting a disease.
    the contraction of malaria
  9. (phonetics) Syncope, the loss of sounds from within a word.
  10. The acquisition of something, generally negative.
    Our contraction of debt in this quarter has reduced our ability to attract investors.
  11. (medicine) A distinct stage of wound healing, wherein the wound edges are gradually pulled together.
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