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a. An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law.
b. The writing or document containing such an agreement.
2. The branch of law dealing with formal agreements between parties.
3. Marriage as a formal agreement; betrothal.
4. Games
a. The last and highest bid of a suit in one hand in bridge.
b. The number of tricks thus bid.
c. Contract bridge.
5. A paid assignment to murder someone: put out a contract on the mobster's life.
v. (kən-trăkt′, kŏn′trăkt′) con·tract·ed, con·tract·ing, con·tracts
1. To enter into by contract; establish or settle by formal agreement: contract a marriage.
2. To acquire or incur: contract obligations; contract a serious illness.
a. To reduce in size by drawing together; shrink.
b. To pull together; wrinkle.
4. Grammar To shorten (a word or words) by omitting or combining some of the letters or sounds, as do not to don't.
1. To enter into or make an agreement: contract for garbage collection.
2. To become reduced in size by or as if by being drawn together: The pupils of the patient's eyes contracted.

[Middle English, from Latin contractus, past participle of contrahere, to draw together, make a contract : com-, com- + trahere, to draw.]

con·tract′i·bil′i·ty n.
con·tract′i·ble adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
Phytochemical studies investigating Rhodiola species of the Crassulaceae family have found that the main bioactive compounds, salidroside and tyrosol, have cardiovascular specific pharmacological effects such as enhancing myocardial contractibility, increasing myocardial contraction and inducing hypotension.
The underlying economic rationale for this can be understood by considering the problem of the financier who funds a bank but, because of information problems, lacks precise knowledge and contractibility over loans made by the bank.
Lacking in Al-polymers in the interlayer region, vermiculite and smectite display a greater expandability and contractibility than their hydroxy-interlayered counterparts.
Theory of Contractibility and Legal Indeterminacy, 52 B.
The changes in exercise heart rate may be explained by increased stroke volume and improved contractibility of the heart muscle.