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CONTRACTION

Pronunciation (US): Play

 Dictionary entry overview: What does contraction mean? 

CONTRACTION (noun)
  The noun CONTRACTION has 4 senses:

1. (physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber)
2. the process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together
3. a word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds
4. the act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope

  Familiarity information: CONTRACTION used as a noun is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


CONTRACTION (noun)


Sense 1contraction [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

contraction; muscle contraction; muscular contraction

Hypernyms ("contraction" is a kind of...):

shortening (act of decreasing in length)

Domain category:

physiology (the branch of the biological sciences dealing with the functioning of organisms)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "contraction"):

contracture (an abnormal and usually permanent contraction of a muscle)

tetanus (a sustained muscular contraction resulting from a rapid series of nerve impulses)

uterine contraction (a rhythmic tightening in labor of the upper uterine musculature that contracts the size of the uterus and pushes the fetus toward the birth canal)

Braxton-Hicks contraction; false labor (painless contractions of the muscles of the uterus that continue throughout pregnancy with increasing frequency)

vaginismus (muscular contraction that causes the vagina to close; usually an anxiety reaction before coitus or pelvic examination)


Sense 2contraction [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural events

Synonyms:

compression; contraction; condensation

Context example:

the contraction of a gas on cooling

Hypernyms ("contraction" is a kind of...):

shrinkage; shrinking (process or result of becoming less or smaller)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "contraction"):

coarctation; constriction (tight or narrow compression)


Sense 3contraction [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Context examples:

'won't' is a contraction of 'will not' / 'o'clock' is a contraction of 'of the clock'

Hypernyms ("contraction" is a kind of...):

word (a unit of language that native speakers can identify)


Sense 4contraction [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Hypernyms ("contraction" is a kind of...):

decrease; diminution; reduction; step-down (the act of decreasing or reducing something)

Antonym:

expansion (the act of increasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope)


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