Definition of “contact” - English Dictionary

“contact” in British English

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uk /ˈkɒn.tækt/ us /ˈkɑːn.tækt/

contact noun (COMMUNICATION)

B1 [ U ] communication with someone, especially by speaking or writing to them regularly:

"Have you been in contact with Andrew recently?" "Only by phone."
I'm still in contact with her - we write a couple of times a year.
There isn't enough contact between teachers and parents.
I've been busy at home and have hardly had any contact with the outside world.
I'd hate to lose contact with my college friends.
She finally made contact with him in Italy.
Air traffic control lost radio contact with the pilot of the plane ten minutes before the accident.
The school needs a contact number (= phone number, especially for emergencies) for parents during school hours.

More examples

  • It concerns me that he hasn't been in contact.
  • She has denied her family and refuses to have any contact with them.
  • One of the minus points of working at home is not having social contact with colleagues.
  • For a few tense minutes, the astronauts lost radio contact with mission control.
  • After a few months' contact the monkeys become very tame.

contact noun (TOUCH)

C1 [ U ] the fact of two people or things touching each other:

Don't let that glue come into contact with your skin.
Have you been in contact with (= touched or been very near) anyone with the disease?
He hates physical contact of any kind - he doesn't even like to shake your hand.

More examples

  • Many tribes became extinct when they came into contact with Western illnesses.
  • He's very shy and never makes eye contact.
  • It's possible to pass on the virus to others through physical contact.
  • The AIDS virus is spread through contact with blood and other body fluids.
  • Don't let the cloth come into contact with anything greasy.

contact noun (PERSON)

A2 [ C ] a person, especially someone in a high position, who can give you useful information or introductions that will help you at work or socially:

I don't really know how she got the job, but I think her mother has contacts.
He gave me the name of one of his contacts in a design firm, who offered me a job.
We're building up (= increasing the number of) our contacts in the business.

[ C ] the people whose names, telephone numbers, addresses, etc. you keep, for example stored on your mobile phone:

How do you add a new contact?
contacts [ U ]

the place on your mobile phone or computer where you store people's names, telephone numbers, addresses, etc.:

Click the icon to go to contacts.
I've added her number to my contacts.

More examples

  • Do you have any contacts in journalism?
  • I have a contact within the Conservative government.
  • He is a useful contact for information on arms deals.
  • I am trying to make contacts within the party.
  • I don't have any local contacts.

contact noun (FOR EYES)

[ C ] also contact lens a small round curved piece of transparent plastic, worn on the surface of the eye to improve your sight

contact noun (PHOTOGRAPH)

[ C ] also contact print a photograph produced by allowing light to pass through the film onto paper that is pressed tightly to it

contactverb [ T ]

uk /ˈkɒn.tækt/ us /ˈkɑːn.tækt/

A2 to communicate with someone by calling or sending them a letter, email, etc.:

I tried to contact him at his office, but he wasn't in.
You can contact me on (US also at) (= speak to me using the phone) 388 9146.
Unless the money is paid, we will be contacting our legal department.

More examples

  • You can contact us by email or fax.
  • For more information about the job, please contact the personnel manager.
  • Discussion forums are a way of contacting people with similar interests from all over the world.
  • Should you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to contact me.
  • I've been trying to contact you all day.
adjective uk /kənˈtæk.tə.bəl/ us /kənˈtæk.tə.bəl/

Is he contactable at his home number?

(Definition of “contact” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“contact” in American English

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us /ˈkɑn·tækt/

contact noun (COMMUNICATION)

[ U ] communication with someone, or with a group or organization:

Have you kept in contact with your friends from college?
The pilot was always in contact with an air traffic controller.

contact noun (TOUCH)

[ U ] the touching of two objects or surfaces:

Don’t let that glue come into contact with your skin.

contact noun (HELPFUL PERSON)

[ C ] a person whom you know and who may be able to help you in a useful way, esp. by influencing other people or by sharing knowledge with you:

He tried to use his contacts to get a better job in advertising.

[ C ] A contact is also a person you meet:

My face-to-face contacts outside of the office had been mostly hotel clerks, policemen, and waitresses.
verb [ T ] us /ˈkɑn·tækt/

I tried to contact him at his office but he was out to lunch.

(Definition of “contact” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“contact” in Business English

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uk /ˈkɒntækt/ us

[ U ] communication with someone, especially by speaking or writing to them regularly:

be/get/keep in contact with sb We have been in contact with similar organizations in several countries.
establish/make contact with sb Experience has taught me the best way to make a good first impression is to make contact with as many people in the organization as you can.
contact between sb (and sb) The first contact between contracting parties will normally be the sending out of a price list or catalogue.
contact details/information/number The HR department keeps the contact details of all members of staff.
in close/direct/regular contact with sb 44% of his working time is spent in direct contact with clients.
Under the new code, shareholders will have a senior non-executive director, aside from the chairman, who will act as their point of contact on the board.

[ C ] a person, especially in a high position, who can give you useful information or introductions that will help you at work:

good/useful/valuable contacts Conferences are good places to make useful contacts.
He's got a contact in London who buys the goods off him.
Sharing a meal with clients or colleagues can strengthen business contacts and improve career prospects.
a network of contacts

contactverb [ T ]

uk /ˈkɒntækt/ us

to communicate with someone by phoning them or sending them a letter, email, etc.:

contact sb for sth The distributor should be contacted for further information on these requirements.
contact sb at/on You can contact the manager directly on this number, or at his website address.

Please ensure that you are contactable at all times while the deal is going through.

(Definition of “contact” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)