CONTRACTION, noun [Latin]
1. The act of drawing together, or shrinking; the act of shortening, narrowing or lessening extent or dimensions, by causing the parts of a body to approach nearer to each other; the state of being contracted.
Oil of vitriol will throw the stomach into involuntary contractions.
The contraction of the heart is called systole.
Some things induce a contraction of the nerves.
2. The act of shortening, abridging, or reducing within a narrower compass by any means. A poem may be improved by omissions or contractions.
3. In grammar, the shortening of a word, by the omission of a letter or syllable; as, cant for cannot; burst for bursted or bursten; Swedish and Danish ord, a word.
4. A contract; marriage contract. [Not used.]