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English definition of “contraction”

contraction

noun [C/U]  /kənˈtræk·ʃən/ us  
a reduction in size or amount: [C] an economic contraction [U] Heat differences cause rapid expansion and contraction of the gas. A contraction is a shortening of a muscle intentionally, or a sudden, unexpected, and often painful shortening of a muscle: [C] voluntary/involuntary contractions [U] Contraction of the muscle raises your arm. [C] Researchers think olive oil may slow stomach contractions. grammar A contraction is also a shortened form of a word or combination of words: [C] “Can’t” is a contraction of “cannot.”
(Definition of contraction from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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