Date: 1600-1700
Language: French
Origin: Latin contactus, from the past participle of contigere; CONTINGENT1


1 noun
con‧tact1 S3 W2


[uncountable] communication with a person, organization, country etc
contact with/between
There is very little contact between the two tribes.
Few people have daily contact with mentally disabled people.
be/get/stay/keep in contact (with somebody)
We stay in contact by email.
We'd like to make contact with other schools in the area.
The children lost contact with their families (=they no longer see them because they do not know where to find them).
the ship's failure to make radio contact
She put me in contact with an expert in the field (=she gave me their name, telephone number etc).
face-to-face/social/personal contact (=talking to someone who is with you)
There is little personal contact with customers.
staff who have direct contact with the patient
The town is cut off from contact with the outside world.


[uncountable] when two people or things touch each other
contact with/between
Children need physical contact with a caring adult.
The disease spreads by sexual contact between infected animals.
in contact with something
For a second, his hand was in contact with mine.
When water comes into contact with air, carbon dioxide is released.
on contact (with something)
The bomb exploded on contact (=at the moment it touched something).


[uncountable] when you meet someone or experience a particular kind of thing:
Everyone who came into contact with Di felt better for knowing her.
Pat's job brings her into contact with the problems people face when they retire.


[countable usually plural] a person you know who may be able to help or advise you:
He has a lot of contacts in the media.


[plural] a situation in which you can communicate easily with a group, country etc
contacts with/between
We have good contacts with the local community.
He goes to great lengths to maintain these contacts.
the establishment of diplomatic contacts

point of contact

a) a place you go to or a person you meet when you ask an organization for help
first/initial point of contact
Primary health care teams are the first point of contact for users of the service.
b) a way in which two different things are related:
finding a point of contact between theory and practice
c) the part of something where another thing touches it:
The sting causes swelling at the point of contact.


[countable]TEE an electrical part that completes a circuit when it touches another part


[countable] informalMH a contact lens

➔ eye contact

at eye1 (5)

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