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used in a sentence
3 meanings
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1  —as in:
legal contract
Definition an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
  • She signed the contract.
contract = a written agreement that is enforceable by law
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • In many cases, an oral contract can be enforced by law even though it was never put in writing.
  • contract = agreement enforceable by law
  • Sometimes a consumer can cancel a signed contract during a "cooling off" period, but that is an exception to the general rule.
  • contract = a written agreement that is enforceable by law
  • A lot of people get into trouble by signing contracts they don't understand.
  • contracts = a written agreement that is enforceable by law
  • Did I make a contract with him in the forest, and sign it with my blood?
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • contract = formal agreement
  • Time presses, and in our implied agreement with the old scytheman it is of the essence of the contract.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • contract = agreement
  • Our contract is an old one.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Christmas Carol
  • contract = agreement
  • They get kickbacks on government contracts from friends or the companies they award them to.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • contracts = agreements to purchase/sell
  • My contract provides I be supplied with all my firewood.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • contract = formal legal agreement
  • And okay, fair enough, but there is this unwritten contract between author and reader and I think not ending your book kind of violates that contract.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
contract = agreement

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
contract the disease
Definition to get — especially in reference to a disease
  • She contracted an STD (sexually transmitted disease).
contracted = acquired (gotten; or picked up)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I contracted the habit of reading from a group of friends in high school.
  • contracted = got
  • She contracted AIDS by sharing needles.
  • contracted = got
  • We can't take a chance that she will contract another infection from any outside germs that might be brought into the hospital.
    Pam Munoz Ryan  --  Esperanza Rising
  • contract = get (a disease)
  • I could tell she wanted me to ask her about something, but I couldn't tell what, because my stomach wouldn't shut up, which was forcing me deep inside a worry that I'd somehow contracted a parasitic infection.
    John Green  --  Turtles All the Way Down
  • contracted = got (a disease)
  • My dearest Henry, the advantage to you of getting away from the Admiral before your manners are hurt by the contagion of his, before you have contracted any of his foolish opinions, or learned to sit over your dinner as if it were the best blessing of life!
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • contracted = caught (like a disease)
  • Here is a secret about my family: My sister contracted the deliria a several months before her scheduled procedure.
    Lauren Oliver  --  Delirium
  • contracted = got (a disease)
  • I contracted pleural pneumonia, in that day a killing disease.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • contracted = got (became ill with)
  • We had to sit so close to other people there wasn't room to breathe, if you even wanted to, being in the position to contract every kind of a germ there was.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • contract = to get (of a disease)
  • There are dust storms and tule fog and some people do contract Valley Fever.
    Pam Munoz Ryan  --  Esperanza Rising
contract = get (a disease)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
3  —as in:
the metal contracted
Definition when something gets shorter or smaller
  • When it is cold, the metal in the bridge contracts and the joints are further apart.
contracts = gets shorter
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • When the biceps contracts, the elbow bends.
  • contracts = shorten by pulling tighter
  • The pupils contract in bright light to admit less light into the eye.
  • contract = get smaller
  • The cold made the aluminum rod contract more than the steel rod.
  • contract = shorten
  • an arrhythmic expansion and contraction of my feelings
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • Lord Godalming's brows contracted, and he stood up and walked about the room.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • contracted = pulled toward each other
  • This was because the tendons had begun to shrivel and contract.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • contract = pull tighter
  • Now the red eyes and the light above seemed to bore into Charles, and again the pupils of the little boy's eyes contracted.
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • contracted = got smaller
  • The little brunette contracts her brows when she is thinking; but when she talks they are still.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • contracts = pulls tighter (muscles shorten)
  • I contracted my face into a smile and nodded.
    John Green  --  Turtles All the Way Down
contracted = pulled back

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
Less commonly:
This sense of contract can be used as a verb, as in They contracted to.... When used as a verb, the second syllable is stressed.

A grammatical sense of the word form contraction describes can't as a shortened form of can not.

Other specialized usages include contract murder and contract bridge.
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