• Marriage contract. Neapolitan group
    Marriage contract. Neapolitan group
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n contraction the act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope
    • n contraction (physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber)
    • n contraction a word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds "`won't' is a contraction of `will not'","`o'clock' is a contraction of `of the clock'"
    • n contraction the process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together "the contraction of a gas on cooling"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Hyenas can comsume prey carrying anthrax without contracting the disease itself
    • Contraction A marriage contract.
    • Contraction Something contracted or abbreviated, as a word or phrase; -- as, plenipo for plenipotentiary; crim. con. for criminal conversation, etc.
    • Contraction The act of incurring or becoming subject to, as liabilities, obligation, debts, etc.; the process of becoming subject to; as, the contraction of a disease.
    • Contraction The act or process of contracting, shortening, or shrinking; the state of being contracted; as, contraction of the heart, of the pupil of the eye, or of a tendon; the contraction produced by cold.
    • Contraction (Math) The process of shortening an operation.
    • Contraction (Gram) The shortening of a word, or of two words, by the omission of a letter or letters, or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one; as, ne'er for never; can't for can not; don't for do not; it's for it is.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The first known heart medicine was discovered in an English garden. In 1799, physician John Ferriar noted the effect of dried leaves of the common foxglove plant, digitalis purpurea, on heart action. Still used in heart medications, digitalis slows the pulse and increases the force of heart contractions and the amount of blood pumped per heartbeat.
    • n contraction The act of drawing together or shrinking; the condition of becoming smaller in extent or dimensions through the nearer approach to one another of the parts; the state of being contracted; a decrease in volume, bulk, or dimensions, as from loss of heat. All bodies, with very few exceptions, expand by the application of heat, and contract when heat is withdrawn. (See expansion and heat.) Contraction also takes place when a gas is condensed to a liquid, and in most cases when a liquid is changed to a solid; there are, however, some exceptions, as water, which expands on solidifying.
    • n contraction The act of making short, of abridging, or of reducing within a narrower compass by any means; the act of lessening or making smaller in amount; the state of being so lessened; reduction; diminution; abridgment: as, a contraction of the currency.
    • n contraction Specifically A shortening of a word in pronunciation or in writing: as, can't is a contraction of cannot. In writing, contraction takes place, as in pronunciation, primarily by the omission of intermediate letters; but also by writing in a smaller character the last letter above the word contracted, by running two or more letters into one character, by using symbols representing syllables or words, and by the use of initial letters: as, recd. for received; qm for quam; & for ct. Specifically, in Greek grammar, the uniou of the concurrent vowels of two syllables into one long vowel or diphthong—that is, of οω into ω, of εε into ει, etc. See abbreviation, 2.
    • n contraction In ancient prosody, the use of a single long time or syllable in place of two short times. Thus, in the dactylic hexameter, a spondee can be substituted in the first four feet for a dactyl , one long being metrically equivalent to two shorts; but such a substitution is admissible only in certain kinds of verse and in certain parts of a foot or line, according to special rules. In the dactylic hexameter, for example, the fifth foot must ordinarily be a dactyl, not a spondee. The converse of contraction is resolution.
    • n contraction The act of making a contract; the state of being under a contract, especially one of marriage.
    • n contraction In surgery, an abnormal and permanent alteration in the relative position and forms of parts, arising from various causes, as in ankylosis, distortion, clubfoot, wryneck, etc.
    • n contraction In mathematics, any device for abridging the mechanical labor of making calculations by diminishing the number of characters written down.
    • n contraction The act or process of contracting or acquiring: as, the contraction of a debt.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The longest word in the english language is pneaumonaultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It's a lung disease contracted from breathing in too much volcanic dust settlement.
    • Contraction act of contracting: a word shortened by rejecting a part of it: a symbol for shortening in palæography, &c
    • ***


  • Jonathan Swift
    “The latter part of a wise person's life is occupied with curing the follies, prejudices and false opinions they contracted earlier.”
  • Ira Gershwin
    Ira Gershwin
    “What usually comes first is the contract.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “We are the slaves of objects around us, and appear little or important according as these contract or give us room to expand.”
  • Nelson Mandela
    Nelson Mandela
    “Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes
    “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it will contract.”
  • Tom Brokaw
    Tom Brokaw
    “TV is a fickle business. I'm only good for the length of my contract.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. contractio,: cf. F. contraction,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. contractuscon, together, trahĕre, to draw.


In literature:

Cells suddenly contracted about the middle.
"Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1." by John MacGillivray
Promptly meeting government contracts is our work to-day.
"Wells Brothers" by Andy Adams
A contract requiring ten or more hours a day was perfectly legal.
"A History of Trade Unionism in the United States" by Selig Perlman
The novices had no contract.
"The Foundations of Japan" by J.W. Robertson Scott
The contract will be signed, and, thank God, I shall soon be rid of you.
"Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall" by Charles Major
The contract of obedience must be free or else, as Hooker had previously insisted, it is not a contract.
"Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham" by Harold J. Laski
They thought that by contracting the sphere of its application they might lessen the malignity of an evil principle.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
It was no deed, but a complicated contract binding the tenant hand and foot to the landlord.
"The Quest of the Silver Fleece" by W. E. B. Du Bois
And the wolf fled, contracting his body into the smallest dimensions.
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1"
Of course, the same result of heat and light would follow from compression, if a body had the power of contraction in itself.
"Recreations in Astronomy" by Henry Warren

In poetry:

The primrose in clusters breath'd fragrance around,
And witness'd the vows that were given;--
The lark, that sat listening, soar'd swift from the ground
And warbled the contract in -- heaven!
"May-Day ; Or, The Discovery. A Pastoral. In The Manner of Cunningham" by Hector MacNeill
Dargo the mighty came on, like a
cloud of thunder. His brows were contracted
and dark. His eyes like two
caves in a rock. Bright rose their
swords on each side; dire was the clang
of their steel.
"Fragment V" by James Macpherson
She sees another, with dismay,
Contracting debts he'll never pay.
Perhaps his payment is a sneer,
Because a lawyer gets him clear.
The crowd look on with unconcern;
Justice and creditor may mourn.
"Justice" by William Hutton
"Descend to earth, there place thy throne;
"To succour man's afflicted son
"Each human heart inspire:
"To act in bounties unconfin'd
"Enlarge the close contracted mind,
"And fill it with thy fire."
"An Hymn To Humanity To S. P. G. Esp;" by Phillis Wheatley
Has wrath or revenge e'er contracted that brow?
Can guilt and remorse teach that forehead to glow?
These sweet lips can never be taught to complain,
No oath can pollute them, no falsehood can stain.
"The Consolation" by Caroline Fry
"So the Bluebirds have contracted, have they, for a house?
And a nest is under way for little Mr. Wren?
Hush, dear, hush! Be quiet, dear; quiet as a mouse.
These are weighty secrets, and we must whisper them."
"Secrets" by Susan Coolidge

In news:

This week, the federal government suspended two more companies as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged abuses of a federal contracting program.
Learn more about Alaska Native s, the challenges they face and the federal contracting program intended to benefit them with our interactive multimedia overview.
After the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, the Pentagon and other agencies awarded thousands of contracts without competition or proper oversight.
Hear more from Dr Gansler at NCMA's 50th Annual Aerospace + Defense Contract Management Conference in the "Transforming Wartime Contracting—Recommendations from the Commission on Wartime Contracting " Exectuive Panel.
The General Services Administration's Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) has generated more than $5 billion in sales during the last 12 months.
Small businesses thrive on Alliant set-aside contract.
Negotiate protections against this risk into your contracts.
Antitrust lawyers once focused on?predatory pricing,vertical contracts.
Governor Gregoire cancels union contracts.
Broken Contracts Fray Cotton Market.
For most of the past decade, the Defense Contract Management Agency shed staff and decentralized its approach to managing the Defense Department's contracts — all while DoD contract spending skyrocketed.
The company also anticipates a price guarantee contract from Sikorsky for H-60 cargo hooks, electric rescue hoist and SH-60 probe hoists , once Sikorsky has signed its "multi-year 8" contract.
Johnson is under contract for this season to make one-point-seven (m) million dollars, but wants a contract extension.
Detroit teachers union leaders are dismissing their new imposed contract as "a farce," saying there was no agreement or even bargaining before the contract was announced.
The contract includes repairs and access to the spares pool as part of a per-flight-hour contract.

In science:

We say that ϕ is completely positive contractive if each ϕt is a linear completely positive contraction.
A Classification Theorem for Nuclear Purely Infinite Simple C*-Algebras
Since I is contractible, Ker πα is contractible.
Homological algebra of homotopy algebras
This problem has definite interest in physics, where contractions are related to some kind of “approximation” and understanding how invariants behave under contraction and under the “inverse” expansion or deformation process are illuminating aspects of the theory.
Casimir invariants for the complete family of quasi-simple orthogonal algebras
This means that the behaviour of these Casimirs upon any contraction ωa → 0 is built-in in the formalism, and they do not require any rescaling which should be made when the contraction is performed in the In¨on¨u–Wigner sense.
Casimir invariants for the complete family of quasi-simple orthogonal algebras
Inserting these ω factors turns out to be equivalent to the usual rescaling made in the contraction of Casimir invariants by means of an In¨on¨u–Wigner contraction.
Casimir invariants for the complete family of quasi-simple orthogonal algebras