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5 definitions found
 for contraction
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Contraction \Con*trac"tion\, n. [L. contractio: cf. F.
     1. The act or process of contracting, shortening, or
        shrinking; the state of being contracted; as, contraction
        of the heart, of the pupil of the eye, or of a tendon; the
        contraction produced by cold.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Math.) The process of shortening an operation.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The act of incurring or becoming subject to, as
        liabilities, obligation, debts, etc.; the process of
        becoming subject to; as, the contraction of a disease.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. Something contracted or abbreviated, as a word or phrase;
        -- as, plenipo for plenipotentiary; crim. con. for
        criminal conversation, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. (Gram.) The shortening of a word, or of two words, by the
        omission of a letter or letters, or by reducing two or
        more vowels or syllables to one; as, ne'er for never;
        can't for can not; don't for do not; it's for it is.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. A marriage contract. [Obs.] --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: (physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ
           (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber) [syn:
           contraction, muscular contraction, muscle
      2: the process or result of becoming smaller or pressed
         together; "the contraction of a gas on cooling" [syn:
         compression, condensation, contraction]
      3: a word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining
         some sounds; "`won't' is a contraction of `will not'";
         "`o'clock' is a contraction of `of the clock'"
      4: the act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or
         quantity or scope [ant: enlargement, expansion]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  57 Moby Thesaurus words for "contraction":
     Speedwriting, abatement, abbreviation, abridgment, alleviation,
     apocope, aposiopesis, attenuation, brachygraphy, clipping,
     coarctation, constriction, crasis, cutting, dampening, damping,
     decrease, decrement, decrescence, deduction, deflation,
     depreciation, depression, diminishment, diminution, dying,
     dying off, elision, ellipsis, extenuation, fade-out, languishment,
     lessening, letup, lowering, miniaturization, mitigation, narrowing,
     phonography, pruning, reduction, relaxation, sagging, scaling down,
     shortening, shorthand, simplicity, stenography, stricture,
     subtraction, syncope, syneresis, tachygraphy, taper, tapering,
     truncation, weakening

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

     (Or "contraction") The process of transforming an expression
     according to certain reduction rules.  The most important
     forms are beta reduction (application of a lambda
     abstraction to one or more argument expressions) and delta
     reduction (application of a mathematical function to the
     required number of arguments).
     An evaluation strategy (or reduction strategy), determines
     which part of an expression (which redex) to reduce first.
     There are many such strategies.
     See graph reduction, string reduction, normal order
     reduction, applicative order reduction, parallel
     reduction, alpha conversion, beta conversion, delta
     conversion, eta conversion.

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  CONTRACTION. An abbreviation; a mode of writing or printing by which some of 
  the letters of a word are omitted. See Abbreviations. 

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