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  1. (uncountable) A contraction is when something pulls together and gets smaller. It is the act of contracting.
    The cold weather made the bridge contract and break.
  2. (countable) A contraction is a word made of two other words, with letters and spaces removed, and an apostrophe added. It is different from a compound word, because a compound word doesn't have any letters removed. Most are informal.
    In English class, we learned the contractions "don't" and "you're".
  3. (countable) A contraction is when a muscle is used and pulls together to move some part of the body. Specifically, when giving birth, it means the uterus contracting.
    When she felt the contractions, she knew she was going into labor.