Get the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary app Find out more about Oxford American Dictionaries for learners of English Get an Oxford Advanced American Dictionary searchbox for your website Ask Text Checker

Definition of contract verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

Oxford3000Academic

contract

verb
 
1
/kənˈtrækt/ contract pronunciation American
[intransitive, transitive] to become less or smaller; to make something become less or smallerGlass contracts as it cools.The universe is expanding rather than contracting.a contracting marketThe heart muscles contract to expel the blood. contract somethingThe exercise consists of stretching and contracting the leg muscles. contract something to something“I will” is usually contracted to “I'll” (= made shorter). antonym expand
2
/kənˈtrækt/ contract pronunciation American
[transitive] contract something (medical) to get an illnessto contract AIDS/a virus/a disease
3
/ˈkɑntrækt; kənˈtrækt/ contract pronunciation American
[transitive] to make a legal agreement with someone for them to work for you or provide you with a service contract someone to do somethingThe player is contracted to play until August. contract someone (to something)Several computer engineers have been contracted to the finance department.
4
/ˈkɑntrækt; kənˈtrækt/ contract pronunciation American
[intransitive] contract to do something to make a legal agreement to work for someone or provide them with a serviceShe has contracted to work 20 hours a week.
5
/ˈkɑntrækt; kənˈtrækt/ contract pronunciation American
[transitive] contract a marriage/an alliance (with someone)(formal) to formally agree to marry someone/form an alliance with someone
PHRASAL VERB

contract somethingout (to someone)

to arrange for work to be done by another company rather than your owncontract outcontract out to