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con·tact  (kntkt)
a. A coming together or touching, as of objects or surfaces.
b. The state or condition of touching or of immediate proximity: Litmus paper turns red on contact with an acid.
a. Connection or interaction; communication: still in contact with my former employer.
b. Visual observation: The pilot made contact with the ship.
c. Association; relationship: came into contact with new ideas at college.
3. A person who might be of use; a connection: The reporter met with her contact at the mayors office.
a. A connection between two conductors that permits a flow of current or heat.
b. A part or device that makes or breaks such a connection.
5. Medicine A person recently exposed to a contagious disease, usually through close association with an infected individual.
6. A contact lens.
v. (kntkt, kn-tkt) con·tact·ed, con·tact·ing, con·tacts
1. To bring or put in contact.
2. To get in touch with; communicate with: This past January I was contacted by a lawyer who said he needed my help (Elizabeth Loftus).
To be in or come into contact.
1. Of, sustaining, or making contact.
2. Caused or transmitted by touching: a contact skin rash.

[Latin contctus, from past participle of contingere, to touch, from past participle of contingere, to touch : com-, com- + tangere, to touch; see tag- in Indo-European roots.]

con·tactu·al (kn-tkch-l) adj.
con·tactu·al·ly adv.
Usage Note: The verb contact is a classic example of a verb that was made from a noun and of a new usage that was initially frowned upon. The noun meaning the state or condition of touching was introduced in 1626 by Francis Bacon. Some 200 years later it spawned a verb meaning to bring or place in contact. This sense of the verb has lived an unremarkable life in technical contexts. It was only in the first quarter of the 20th century that contact came to be used to mean to communicate with, and soon afterward the controversy began. Contact was declared to be properly a noun, not a verb, and moreover to be vague when used as a verb. However, turning nouns into verbs is one of the most frequent ways in which new verbs enter English. Sometimes there is resistance to such verbs, but often, especially when a term seems free of association with the jargon of business or bureaucracy, acceptance comes more freely, as with curb, date, elbow, interview, panic, and park. Contact is but another instance of what linguists call functional shift from one part of speech to another. As for the vagueness of contact, this seems a virtue in an age in which forms of communication have proliferated. The sentence We will contact you when the part comes in allows for a variety of possible ways to communicate: by mail, telephone, computer, or fax. · Despite the lengthy history of disapproval of contact by language critics, the verbs usefulness and popularity appear to have worn down resistance to it. In 1969, only 34 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the use of contact as a verb, but in a recent survey 65 percent of the Panel accepted it in the sentence She immediately called an officer at the Naval Intelligence Service, who in turn contacted the FBI. See Usage Note at impact.

n [ˈkɒntækt]
1. the act or state of touching physically
2. the state or fact of close association or communication (esp in the phrases in contact, make contact)
3. (Electronics)
a.  a junction of two or more electrical conductors
b.  the part of the conductors that makes the junction
c.  the part of an electrical device to which such connections are made
4. an acquaintance, esp one who might be useful in business, as a means of introduction, etc.
5. (Medicine / Pathology) any person who has been exposed to a contagious disease
6. (Miscellaneous Technologies / Photography) Photog See contact print
7. (Medicine) (usually plural) an informal name for contact lens
8. (Medicine / Pathology) (modifier) of or relating to irritation or inflammation of the skin caused by touching the causative agent contact dermatitis
9. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Agriculture) (modifier) denoting an insecticide or herbicide that kills on contact, rather than after ingestion or absorption
10. (modifier) of or maintaining contact
11. (modifier) requiring or involving (physical) contact the contact sport of boxing
vb [ˈkɒntækt kənˈtækt]
(when intr, often foll by with) to put, come, or be in association, touch, or communication
(Engineering / Aeronautics) Aeronautics (formerly) a call made by the pilot to indicate that an aircrafts ignition is switched on and that the engine is ready for starting by swinging the propeller
[from Latin contactus, from contingere to touch on all sides, pollute, from tangere to touch]
contactual  [kɒnˈtæktjʊəl] adj
contactually  adv

contact  (kntkt)
1. Electricity
a. A connection between two conductors that allows an electric current to flow.
b. A part or device that makes or breaks a connection in an electrical circuit.
2. Geology The place where two different types of rock, or rocks of different ages, come together.

contact  /kntkt/  n. 1 [U] touch: My clothes come in contact with my skin. 2 [C] a person one knows, esp. who can get s.t. done: She has contacts with top officials in the government. 3 [C] an electrical point: The contact on the car battery is broken. 4 communication with s.o.: He made contact by telephone with his friend.
v. [T] to communicate with, to get in touch with: He contacted his friend by telephone. -adj. contactable.

Thesaurus: contact n. 2 a relationship, connection. contact

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