Definition of contact in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The state of physical touching.

    ‘equipment in contact with water can benefit from rubber lining’
    • ‘If human food or utensils come in contact with roach feces, then there's the chance of life-threatening illness.’
    • ‘Patients will only be treated differently if they have been to an affected area, or in contact with someone who has, and are displaying symptoms.’
    • ‘One of the preventative measures is that surfaces likely to in contact with hands should be sterilised with disinfectant.’
    • ‘The virus then spread from these cells to other cells that were in contact with it, and so on.’
    • ‘Where water from fire hoses or water main leaks had come in contact with this substance, it created small pools that resembled slush.’
    • ‘The foundation of a building is another area to come in contact with a spreading wildfire.’
    • ‘Lice are wingless and they cannot jump, unlike fleas, but instead they spread through physical contact.’
    • ‘Smetana, Dvorak and Janacek often remarked on the inspiration they found in contact with the Bohemian hills, forests and rivers.’
    • ‘Scabies is highly contagious and is spread by close physical contact.’
    • ‘The rash usually clears if the allergen is no longer in contact with the skin, but recurs with any slight contact with it again.’
    • ‘I found that my left hand was resting on my own forehead, not quite in contact with it but touching the ends of the fine, raised little hairs standing up on my skin.’
    • ‘It is highly contagious and is spread by close physical contact, especially in overcrowded living conditions.’
    • ‘I also learned how to calculate what a bush, rock, or mound of dirt would to do my force and speed when I came into contact with the earth again.’
    • ‘The longer bird flu is in contact with humans, the greater the chance it will acquire the ability to spread among them.’
    • ‘It is spread by coming in contact with the blood of an infected person.’
    • ‘One thing we've discovered is that children in contact with other children are a huge vector for the flu and colds.’
    • ‘None of our animals have been in contact with theirs.’
    • ‘They are programmed to stay in contact with objects they touch, as rats do.’
    • ‘They had been separately ignited or in contact with something which was already alight but had not spread from one site to another.’
    • ‘I have seen the actors' sensations become transformed when they come in contact with moviemaking technique.’
    touch, touching
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as modifier]Caused by or operating through physical touch.
      ‘contact dermatitis’
      • ‘Contractors will use a biodegradable contact herbicide, which is environmentally friendly and leaves no harmful residues.’
      • ‘Allergic contact dermatitis is the result of sensitization to an allergen.’
      • ‘Allergic contact dermatitis improves with removal of the sensitizing agent.’
      • ‘It measures the probability of exchange of cosolvent molecule for a solvent model at the contact surface.’
      • ‘This test is usually performed to identify substances that cause contact dermatitis.’
      • ‘To minimize wear and ensure smooth operation, these contact areas need proper lubrication.’
      • ‘Lay your bookmark upside down very carefully on one edge of the contact paper so you can fold over the rest of it on the back of the bookmark.’
      • ‘Patch test: this test is used to find the allergen causing eczema or contact dermatitis.’
      • ‘This second exposure to red dye triggered an allergic contact dermatitis.’
      • ‘However, the contact hypothesis has not been reliably demonstrated.’
      • ‘The rash may be difficult to differentiate from the rash of allergic contact dermatitis.’
      • ‘The circuit is completed when the contact in the bolt touches the contact area of the primer.’
      • ‘The use of skin emollients or barrier creams to prevent contact dermatitis is receiving new attention.’
      • ‘Generally, a soil-applied herbicide is applied with or after the contact herbicide.’
      • ‘The rash had been present for less than 36 hours and looked like a massive contact dermatitis.’
      • ‘This was the contact point which was used to make the marks.’
      • ‘They are also the main mediators of the immunopathological mechanisms in contact dermatitis.’
      • ‘This occasion was no different; she had a minor degree of hallux valgus, a runny nose, and some contact dermatitis on her wrist.’
      • ‘The abscess looked necrotic in the center, while the surrounding area had a severe contact dermatitis.’
      • ‘Turns out the kid has a contact dermatitis from where his thighs are rubbing together.’
    2. 1.2[count noun]A connection for the passage of an electric current from one thing to another, or a part or device by which such a connection is made.
      ‘the sliding contact of the potentiometer’
      • ‘Situated on both the male and female housing are electrical contacts which themselves engage when the housings are joined.’
      • ‘Each chip is surrounded by electrical contacts through which data enters and exits.’
      • ‘The conductive contact will electrically connect with the diffused region through the landing pad.’
      • ‘One advantage of the inductive system is that there are no exposed electrical contacts.’
      • ‘Method for reducing oxidation of electroplating chamber contacts and improving uniform electroplating of a substrate’
      • ‘An additional layer of the second dielectric material is on some of the metal contacts, linings and filled spaces.’
      • ‘Semiconductor devices and methods to form a contact of a semiconductor device are disclosed.’
      • ‘A key challenge in molecular electronics is making electrical contacts to the fragile molecules, chemical chains that are easily damaged.’
      • ‘Modern industry is consuming increasing quantities of gold, mostly as electrical contacts in micro circuitry.’
      • ‘Readers reminded us that gold, which does not tarnish or corrode, is used in contacts and connectors in telephones, computers, and other electronic products.’
      • ‘Pure copper is used extensively for cables and wires, electrical contacts, and a wide variety of other parts that are required to pass electrical current.’
      • ‘It also has a metal contact, or guard, that can be moved up and down the antenna.’
      • ‘About 19,000,000 ounces are estimated to go into electric contacts in appliances and electronic equipment.’
      • ‘The bulb has a base, with two metal contacts, and in turn these connect to an electrical circuit.’
      • ‘Method for making metal contacts and interconnections concurrently on semiconductor integrated circuits.’
      • ‘An electrical connector includes a body and two or more electrical contacts.’
      • ‘Small gaps in the electrical contacts along the conveyor serve as traps that can hold single bacterial cells while their electrical properties are measured.’
      • ‘In the relay, a pair of moveable switching contacts is positioned between a pair of fixed electrical contact pads.’
      • ‘Method and apparatus for preparing and metallizing high aspect ratio silicon semiconductor device contacts to reduce the resistivity thereof’
      • ‘Grounding contacts are disposed adjacent the ball contacts, where the grounding contacts are electrically connected to the ground plane.’
    3. 1.3Contact lenses.
      ‘she didn't have her contacts in’
      • ‘Even so, probably the main reason people choose contacts over glasses is that they don't like how glasses look, or they think no one else likes how glasses look.’
      • ‘And most people, who depend upon eyeglasses or contacts to see, live with the frustration of stumbling around the rest of their life anytime they're without them.’
      • ‘Today is the first time I have been able to wear my contacts without pain.’
  • 2[mass noun] The action of communicating or meeting.

    ‘she had little contact with family members’
    • ‘His duties included sorting the post and photocopying documents and he rarely came into contact with members of the public.’
    • ‘I'd been away from the streets for 6 months and had lost contact with friends I had there.’
    • ‘I don't get out to Arizona very often so I've lost contact with much of my family there.’
    • ‘Many prisoners were victims of their own daring; they broke through enemy lines and lost contact with supporting troops.’
    • ‘But the moment he came into contact with the audience, his charm flowered and he became a likeable human being.’
    • ‘Greek air force jets were scrambled when the plane lost contact with air traffic control Sunday morning.’
    • ‘We're in contact with the teaching unions and continue to look for creative solutions to these issues.’
    • ‘He came home in 1976 for his father's funeral but afterwards lost contact with his family.’
    • ‘You physically live in one country but you are in contact with much of the world via the global computer network.’
    • ‘She has lost contact with her family and receives no other visitors.’
    • ‘His family lost contact with him for six nerve-racking hours, before finally getting word that he was safe and well.’
    • ‘His family and friends have lost contact with him and are worried, the officer said.’
    • ‘She had few clues to his background as his island family had lost contact with him shortly after he emigrated to America.’
    • ‘Everyone I came into contact with wanted to help, to show us around.’
    • ‘Eileen will be able to put you in contact with your local Red Cross Chapter.’
    • ‘A lot of the people I met at university I wish I were still in contact with, or in more frequent contact with.’
    • ‘Det Insp Chris Binns said Donna had lost contact with her family and fallen in with the ‘wrong crowd’.’
    • ‘He had lost contact with his father and that side of the family long ago and his mother's parents were both dead.’
    • ‘He had lost contact with his family and deteriorated into alcoholism.’
    • ‘We had some laughs as we reminisced of old times and got caught up with news of family members that we have lost contact with.’
    communication, connection, correspondence, touch, association
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    1. 2.1[count noun]A meeting, communication, or relationship with someone.
      ‘they have forged contacts with key people in business’
      • ‘The interests of the two countries have been intertwined, based on frequent communication and contacts among their people.’
      • ‘They want ministers and civil servants to give annual reports about all meetings or significant contacts with lobbyists, their clients or other special-interest groups.’
      • ‘Some of these difficulties melded or contributed, in some respects, to some of the behaviour exhibited by the appellant in relation to his contacts with the complainant.’
      • ‘She wanted to remain in contact with him but Council officers denied her any contact, says Mrs Thomas's report.’
      • ‘A whole series of varied contacts bringing new relations to the environment, to life, to the world.’
      • ‘Even the US, which has no embassy there, is beginning to forge contacts.’
      • ‘No contact or communication whatsoever with the people, except by mail.’
      • ‘Examples may range from class newsletters, student notebooks, teacher/parent notes of meetings and phone contacts, and home visit reports.’
      • ‘This had the additional benefit of keeping communities to a size that allowed face-to-face communication and intimate personal contacts between all members.’
      • ‘As a matter of fact, we are continuing our contacts and meetings.’
    2. 2.2[count noun]A person who may be approached for information or assistance, especially with regard to one's job.
      ‘Francesca had good contacts’
      • ‘Secondly, it appears that in reality many such individuals are able to find other sources of accommodation and support, for example from relatives or from other contacts in a local community.’
      • ‘The Minister outlined how, in recent months, he has been active in establishing contacts and developing relations with his counterparts in the applicant countries.’
      • ‘Rose suspects it happens frequently, that officers use whatever opportunities arise with juveniles to pump contacts for information and ask them to be informers.’
      • ‘I would encourage you to expand your contacts and build relationships to include exposure to a wide variety of industries.’
      • ‘Other new initiatives include a website promoting specials and offering details of support organisations, useful contacts and recruitment information.’
      • ‘Normally he entertains guests for lunch, then goes into more meetings, before taking contacts out to dinner.’
      • ‘I mean, he has so many contacts, so many relationships.’
      • ‘There was still a small British community there and almost all our key contacts on the delicate issue of hostages were to be found there.’
      • ‘The agenda consists of plans to exchange electronic information and establish permanent contacts among the interior ministers of the 25 member nations.’
      • ‘We are circulating information to all our districts, and are shortlisting all the suspect's relatives, accomplices and contacts.’
      • ‘For many small businesses this could potentially mean the loss of their customer contacts or latest stock information and accounts.’
      • ‘In doing so they may gain information, opportunities, contacts, networks, and assistance.’
      • ‘They are selected on the basis of their positive reputations and extensive social contacts in their communities.’
      • ‘In the virtual world, I can learn, make contacts, flex my communication muscles, and explore ideas that I might not otherwise have come across.’
      • ‘He didn't know that we were KGB and that we were spies, he thought he was just meeting with contacts from the embassy to promote peace and understanding and socialist brotherhood.’
      • ‘A secondary benefit of these contacts is the information you impart regarding your camp mission, programming, and counseling opportunities.’
      • ‘But central London should be avoided for meeting secret contacts because of the heavy police presence.’
      • ‘Many clubs for older youths and adults aimed to increase social contacts outside narrow communities of nationality.’
      • ‘Do establish relationships with key contacts in an effort to better understand their wants and needs.’
      • ‘Include emergency contacts, insurance information, medication list and changes in health conditions.’
      connection, acquaintance, associate, liaison, friend
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3[count noun]A person who has associated with a patient with a contagious disease (and so may carry the infection)
      ‘all efforts are made to persuade possible contacts of patients with either disease to attend for investigation’
      • ‘The first is how to define household contacts when the index patient lives in a hall of residence containing several hundred students.’
      • ‘Also, at least one fifth of unsafe sexual contacts of patients with newly diagnosed HIV are likely to be infected with HIV.’
      • ‘The final aspect of control is the tracing of the sexual contacts of the infected patient, who may have infection without being aware of it.’
      • ‘No healthcare workers in the clinic or close contacts of the patients became infected.’
      • ‘These physicians enrolled 946 index patients and their household contacts in a three-month period.’
      • ‘Again, retrospective epidemiological investigation showed that this patient had infected several contacts.’
      • ‘We reasoned that spouses and other household contacts were likely to be closer to the patient than nonhousehold contacts.’
      • ‘If the patient becomes chronically infected, all household contacts should be vaccinated.’
      • ‘The risk of a second case of infection among close contacts is 500 to 1000 times higher than in the general population.’
      • ‘A high prevalence of TB disease and LTBI has been documented among close contacts of persons with infectious pulmonary TB.’
      • ‘Therefore, the TST is likely to be a good indicator of latent infection in recently exposed contacts.’
      • ‘To be eligible to participate, the general practitioners had to have a computerised medical record system for registration of all patient contacts.’
      • ‘Children who are close household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients should be screened for TB.’
      • ‘Identification of contacts of patients with infectious TB and treatment of those at risk with an effective drug regimen.’
      • ‘For control measures to succeed, early detection and treatment of patients and contacts is very essential.’
      • ‘Brooks and colleagues also found variability in the number of latent infections among contacts of 21 patients with TB.’
      • ‘The exposed population consisted of 207 close contacts of the active patients.’
      • ‘It can be prevented in contacts of patients by intramuscular injection of immune serum globulin in amounts of half to 2 milliliters, according to weight.’
      • ‘A standard protocol was developed to retest and retreat all patients and contacts who had been treated with Bicillin C-R for syphilis.’
      • ‘We found that if household contacts of a patient with meningococcal disease are given prophylaxis with antibiotics that eradicate meningococcal carriage there are fewer subsequent cases.’


  • 1Communicate with (someone), typically in order to give or receive information.

    ‘anyone with any information should contact Darlington police’
    • ‘We ask anyone with further information to contact us.’
    • ‘Your name, address, and telephone number are optional, but we can't contact you without that information.’
    • ‘If you wish for more information contact the appeal's volunteer in your area.’
    • ‘If people contact us with information we do act on it, but sometimes it takes time to collate enough information and evidence to bring a prosecution.’
    • ‘For more information you can contact any committee member or the phone numbers below.’
    • ‘For further information please contact any committee member or look in local press.’
    • ‘He urged any member of the community with information to contact the nearest police station.’
    • ‘And police plan to contact parents of juveniles involved in trouble.’
    • ‘The closing date for payment of the same is March 31st and for further information contact any member of the executive.’
    • ‘We are obviously keen to find out what happened so I would urge anyone with information to contact us.’
    • ‘The Dallas police tried to contact Alice as a witness, but Alice was dead.’
    • ‘The consequences of this attack could have been much worse and I would appeal to anyone who has any information to contact us immediately.’
    • ‘If we can be of further assistance for information, please contact us.’
    • ‘Here is the information you need to contact the officials responsible for shutting down this event.’
    • ‘He had also appealed for any other parties who believed they had relevant information to contact the inquiry team.’
    • ‘The application and documents will now be reviewed and we will contact you if additional information is required.’
    • ‘Investigators will contact witnesses for information and take statements.’
    • ‘Feel free to contact me for information on resources to help you get organized.’
    • ‘For further information, please contact our customer service department.’
    • ‘If the person who contacts you does not volunteer this information, be sure to ask.’
    get in touch with, communicate with, make contact with, approach, reach, notify, be in communication with
    phone, call, ring up, speak to, talk to, write to
    get on to
    get hold of, drop a line to
    View synonyms
  • 2Touch.

    ‘I winced as my blister contacted the floor’
    • ‘Petiole rot begins as an orange-brown or rust-colored lesion where the petiole touches the rim of the pot or where it contacts the soil.’
    • ‘Whenever possible, if you can touch and maintain that contact then go for it.’
    • ‘I brought the aircraft to a stop, but not until after the wingtip and the prop contacted the ground.’
    • ‘Force your toe to contact the floor just as it is passing your right foot.’
    • ‘When you contact the floor, immediately sit up into the next rep and toss the ball back to your partner.’


Early 17th century: from Latin contactus, from contact- touched, grasped, bordered on, from the verb contingere, from con- together with + tangere to touch.