General English


  • noun a physical connection between two or more things, especially the fact of one touching the other


  • noun a person who can be contacted in order to get something done
  • verb to get in touch with somebody e.g. by radio or telephone

Cars & Driving

  • noun touching of two parts
  • noun a part carrying electricity made to touch another such part for passing current, e.g. in a switch or a contact breaker


  • noun the act of getting in touch with someone
  • verb to get in touch with someone, to communicate with someone



  • The coming together, touching, union, or junction of surfaces or objects.
  • The junction of two conductors, so that current may flow. Also called electric contact (1).
  • A part or device which serves to open or close an electric circuit. Such a part or device may or may not act with another part or device. For instance, a blade, metal strip, button, switch, or relay. Also called electric contact (2).
  • The establishment of a communication.
  • In radars, the initial detection of a scanned object.


  • noun a person you know who can give you help such as finding work or advice and information

Media Studies

  • noun a person who provides information for a journalist


  • noun an act of touching someone or something, or the state of touching
  • noun a person who has been in contact with a person suffering from an infectious disease


  • noun the ability to communicate with another person or grouping
  • noun a first sighting of the enemy (usually resulting in an exchange of fire)


  • noun somebody whom you know and whom you can ask for help or advice

Origin & History of “contact”

The underlying notion of contact is not surprisingly one of ‘touching’. It comes ultimately from Latin tangere ‘touch’, source of English tactile, tangent, and tangible. Using the prefix com- ‘together’ this was formed into a compound verb contangere ‘touch, border on’, whose past participle contāctus was borrowed into English, originally as a noun (its use as a verb is a surprisingly late development, which did not happen until the late 19th century). also derived from Latin contangere is contagion (14th c.), and contaminate is probably related.