Definition of Contraction

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

Exact synonyms: Muscle Contraction, Muscular Contraction
Generic synonyms: Shortening
Specialized synonyms: Contracture, Tetanus, Uterine Contraction, Braxton-hicks Contraction, False Labor, Vaginismus
Category relationships: Physiology
Derivative terms: Contract

2. Noun. The process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together. "The contraction of a gas on cooling"
Exact synonyms: Compression, Condensation
Generic synonyms: Shrinkage, Shrinking
Specialized synonyms: Coarctation, Constriction
Derivative terms: Compress, Condense, Condense, Condense

3. Noun. A word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds. "`o'clock' is a contraction of `of the clock'"
Generic synonyms: Word

4. Noun. The act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope.
Generic synonyms: Decrease, Diminution, Reduction, Step-down
Derivative terms: Contract, Contract, Contract, Contract, Contract
Antonyms: Expansion

Definition of Contraction

1. n. The act or process of contracting, shortening, or shrinking; the state of being contracted; as, contraction of the heart, of the pupil of the eye, or of a tendon; the contraction produced by cold.

Definition of Contraction

1. Noun. A reversible reduction in size. ¹

2. Noun. (economics) A period of economic decline or negative growth. ¹

3. Noun. (biology) A shortening of a muscle when it is used. ¹

4. Noun. (medicine) A strong and often painful shortening of the uterine muscles prior to or during childbirth. ¹

5. Noun. (linguistics) A process whereby one or more sounds of a free morpheme (a word) are lost or reduced, such that it becomes a bound morpheme (a clitic) that attaches phonologically to an adjacent word. ¹

6. Noun. (context: English orthography) A word with omitted letters replaced by an apostrophe, usually resulting from the above process. ¹

7. Noun. (medicine) Contracting a disease. ¹

8. Noun. (phonetics) Syncope, the loss of sounds from within a word. ¹

9. Noun. The acquisition of something, generally negative. ¹

10. Noun. (medicine) A distinct stage of wound healing, wherein the wound edges are gradually pulled together. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Contraction

1. [n -S]

Medical Definition of Contraction

1. A shortening or reduction in size, in connection with muscles contraction implies shortening and/or development of tension. Origin: L. Contractus = drawn together This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Contraction Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Contraction

contractile organ
contractile proteins
contractile ring
contractile stricture
contractile vacuole
contraction (current term)
contraction band
contraction band necrosis
contraction stress test
contractor combatant

Literary usage of Contraction

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. A textbook of physiology by William Henry Howell (1911)
"gives the length of the wave or the length of muscle which is in some phase of contraction at any given instant. Under normal conditions the muscle fibers ..."

2. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London by Royal Society (Great Britain) (1856)
"The following communications were read :— I. "The Physical Theory of Muscular contraction." By CHARLES BLAND RADCLIFFE, MD, Licentiate of the Royal College ..."

3. Monographic Medicine by William Robie Patten Emerson, Guido Guerrini, William Brown, Wendell Christopher Phillips, John Whitridge Williams, John Appleton Swett, Hans Günther, Mario Mariotti, Hugh Grant Rowell (1916)
"When a single muscle is made to contract by electrical stimulation, we have a sensation of the muscular contraction ; it depends upon stimulation of the ..."

4. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences by Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (U.S.) (1896)
"In all of these cases the contraction was slight, the true conjugate being ... The general results in the 654 cases of contraction of the pelvis were one ..."

5. The Lancet (1898)
"A cardiac cycle, as I understand it, commences by the contraction of the great veins near their junction with the auricles, which contraction is maintained ..."

6. Principles of General Physiology by William Maddock Bayliss (1920)
"As the interval increases, the height of the second contraction decreases, until, at the normal interval between spontaneous beats, the normal height of ..."

7. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease by American Neurological Association, Philadelphia Neurological Society, Chicago Neurological Society, New York Neurological Association, Boston Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (1875)
"According to Budge, the contraction is only permanent, if the division is made ... But it is not to be assumed, that the contraction is due merely to ..."

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