Definition of contact in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkänˌtakt/
1The state or condition of physical touching: the tennis ball is in contact with the court surface for as little as 5 milliseconds
More example sentences
  • It is spread by coming in contact with the blood of an infected person.
  • I found that my left hand was resting on my own forehead, not quite in contact with it but touching the ends of the fine, raised little hairs standing up on my skin.
  • Lice are wingless and they cannot jump, unlike fleas, but instead they spread through physical contact.
touch, touching;
proximity, exposure
1.1The state or condition of communicating or meeting: Lewis and Clark came into contact with numerous river tribes he had lost contact with his friends
More example sentences
  • His family lost contact with him for six nerve-racking hours, before finally getting word that he was safe and well.
  • He had lost contact with his family and deteriorated into alcoholism.
  • Det Insp Chris Binns said Donna had lost contact with her family and fallen in with the ‘wrong crowd’.
communication, correspondence, touch;
association, connection, intercourse, relations, dealings
archaic traffic
1.2 [as modifier] Activated by or operating through physical touch: contact dermatitis
More example sentences
  • Generally, a soil-applied herbicide is applied with or after the contact herbicide.
  • The circuit is completed when the contact in the bolt touches the contact area of the primer.
  • Turns out the kid has a contact dermatitis from where his thighs are rubbing together.
1.3A connection for the passage of an electric current from one thing to another, or a part or device by which such a connection is made: a one-way electrical contact between a metal and a semiconductor
More example sentences
  • Method and apparatus for preparing and metallizing high aspect ratio silicon semiconductor device contacts to reduce the resistivity thereof
  • Grounding contacts are disposed adjacent the ball contacts, where the grounding contacts are electrically connected to the ground plane.
  • The conductive contact will electrically connect with the diffused region through the landing pad.
1.4 (contacts) Contact lenses.
Example sentences
  • Today is the first time I have been able to wear my contacts without pain.
  • Even so, probably the main reason people choose contacts over glasses is that they don't like how glasses look, or they think no one else likes how glasses look.
  • And most people, who depend upon eyeglasses or contacts to see, live with the frustration of stumbling around the rest of their life anytime they're without them.
2A meeting, communication, or relationship with someone: they have forged contacts with key people in business
More example sentences
  • They want ministers and civil servants to give annual reports about all meetings or significant contacts with lobbyists, their clients or other special-interest groups.
  • As a matter of fact, we are continuing our contacts and meetings.
  • This had the additional benefit of keeping communities to a size that allowed face-to-face communication and intimate personal contacts between all members.
2.1A person who may be communicated with for information or assistance, especially with regard to one’s job: Francie had good contacts
More example sentences
  • In doing so they may gain information, opportunities, contacts, networks, and assistance.
  • A secondary benefit of these contacts is the information you impart regarding your camp mission, programming, and counseling opportunities.
  • Rose suspects it happens frequently, that officers use whatever opportunities arise with juveniles to pump contacts for information and ask them to be informers.
connection, acquaintance, associate, friend
2.2A person who has associated with a patient with a contagious disease (and so may carry the infection).
Example sentences
  • Brooks and colleagues also found variability in the number of latent infections among contacts of 21 patients with TB.
  • Identification of contacts of patients with infectious TB and treatment of those at risk with an effective drug regimen.
  • No healthcare workers in the clinic or close contacts of the patients became infected.


Pronunciation: /ˈkänˌtakt/
[with object]
Communicate with (someone), typically in order to give or receive specific information.
Example sentences
  • For more information you can contact any committee member or the phone numbers below.
  • The closing date for payment of the same is March 31st and for further information contact any member of the executive.
  • For further information please contact any committee member or look in local press.
get in touch with, communicate with, make contact with, approach, notify;
telephone, phone, call, speak to, talk to, write to, get hold of



Pronunciation: /ˈkäntaktəbəl/
Pronunciation: /ˈkänˌtaktəbəl/ /kənˈtaktəbəl/
Example sentences
  • They have highly trained and extremely competent medical personnel and are easily contactable and readily available 24 hours a day.
  • Colm was equipped with a bleeper which meant that, if at any time a double lung became available, he would be immediately contactable.
  • Depending on what spyware my parents have installed on their computer this time I may or may not be posting or contactable until Tuesday.


Early 17th century: from Latin contactus, from contact- 'touched, grasped, bordered on', from the verb contingere, from con- 'together with' + tangere 'to touch'.

  • Contact and contagion (Late Middle English) both go back to Latin contingere ‘touched’ formed from con- ‘with’ and tangere ‘touch’. Contaminate (Late Middle English) is related.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·tact

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