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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 ?
Grossman and Hart 1986) literatures suggest that incomplete contractibility of transactions that involve assets that cannot be redeployed at the same price outside the transaction--due, for example, to asset specificity--could create contractual hazards.
Reduced electrical conductivity of the myocardium can lead to conduction blockage such as ventricular arrhythmia and, eventually, a complete loss of contractibility (IBRAHIM et al.
An increase in the hormone progesterone is mandatory for a successful pregnancy because it acts to inhibit smooth muscle contractibility and enable the pregnant uterus to remain stable.
SOLTANI RENANI, Character contractibility of Banach algebras and homological properties of Banach modules, Studia Math.
2003, "Financial Contractibility and Asset Hardness," Mimeo, Harvard University.
Enteral nutrition helps maintain the structural and functional integrities of the intestinal muco- sa, and the irritation of food on intestinal mucous membrane is conducive to promoting the secre- tion of gastrointestinal hormones, gallbladder contractibility and gastrointestinal peristalsis as well as protecting the intestinal barrier function.
The authors study the roles of asset contractibility, market power, and rate of return differentials in dynamic insurance when the contracting parties have limited commitment.
Law: A Theory of Contractibility and Legal Indeterminacy, 52 B.
A study showed that creatine complement caused an increase in the levels of required energy for cardiac myocytes, increase cardiac contractibility and therefore improvement of cardiac function in HF patients (22).
Some of the factors responsible for it includes hepatic and pulmonary barriers, muscle contractibility and the presence of lactic acid in muscles which inhibit the growth of cysts.
MacGillivray and Yu [27] studied a general graph partitioning problem including graph coloring, homomorphism to H, conditional coloring, contractibility to H, and partition into cliques as special cases, and investigated their complexity.
All these events contribute to muscle wasting development through impairing muscle contractibility and ability to generate force.