Pronunciation: (kun-trak'shun), [key]
1. an act or instance of contracting.
2. the quality or state of being contracted.
3. a shortened form of a word or group of words, with the omitted letters often replaced in written English by an apostrophe, as e'er for ever, isn't for is not, dep't for department.
4. Physiol.the change in a muscle by which it becomes thickened and shortened.
5. a restriction or withdrawal, as of currency or of funds available as call money.
6. a decrease in economic and industrial activity (opposed to expansion).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.