contraction

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old French contraction, from Latin contractiō.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

contraction (plural contractions)

  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. (medicine) Contracting a disease.
    The contraction of AIDS from toilet seats is extremely rare.
  8. (phonetics) Syncope, the loss of sounds from within a word.
  9. The acquisition of something, generally negative.
    Our contraction of debt in this quarter has reduced our ability to attract investors.
  10. (medicine) A distinct stage of wound healing, wherein the wound edges are gradually pulled together.

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

Last modified on 7 April 2014, at 19:42