contraction Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “contraction” in the English Dictionary

"contraction" in British English

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contractionnoun [U]

uk   us   /kənˈtræk.ʃən/
  • contraction noun [U] (MUSCLE)

[C] one of the very ​strong and usually ​painfulmovements of the ​muscles in the womb that ​help to ​push the ​baby out of the mother's ​body during the ​process of ​birth: She was havingregularstrong contractions every four ​minutes.
  • contraction noun [U] (WORD)

[C] a ​shortform of a word or ​combination of words that is often used ​instead of the ​fullform in ​spokenEnglish: "Won't" is a contraction of "will not".
(Definition of contraction from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"contraction" in American English

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contractionnoun [C/U]

 us   /kənˈtræk·ʃən/
a reduction in ​size or ​amount: [C] an ​economic contraction [U] Heat ​differencescauserapidexpansion and contraction of the ​gas. A contraction is a ​shortening of a ​muscleintentionally, or a ​sudden, ​unexpected, and often ​painfulshortening of a ​muscle: [C] voluntary/​involuntary contractions [U] Contraction of the ​muscleraisesyourarm. [C] Researchers ​thinkoliveoil may ​slowstomach contractions. grammar A contraction is also a ​shortenedform 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)

"contraction" in Business English

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contractionnoun [C or U]

uk   us   /kənˈtrækʃən/ ECONOMICS
a ​situation in which less ​money is being ​earned, ​spent, or ​invested in a ​market or ​economy: Michigan's ​economyexperienced a contraction last ​year.(a) contraction in sth A ​sharp contraction in the ​labourmarket is ​predicted.
(Definition of contraction from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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