contraction - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “contraction”

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contraction

noun [C/U]  us   /kənˈtræk·ʃən/
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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