CONTRACTING, ppr. 1. Shortening or narrowing; drawing together; lessening dimensions; shrinking; making a bargain; betrothing. 2. a. Making or having made a contract or treaty; stipulating; as the contracting parties to a league.
Contract Con*tract", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Contracted; p. pr. & vb. n. Contracting.] [L. contractus, p. p. of contrahere to contract; con- + trahere to draw: cf. F. contracter. See Trace, and cf. Contract, n.] 1. To draw together or nearer; to reduce to a less compass; to shorten, narrow, or lessen; as, to contract one's sphere of action. In all things desuetude doth contract and narrow our faculties. --Dr. H. More. 2. To draw together so as to wrinkle; to knit. Thou didst contract and purse thy brow. --Shak. 3. To bring on; to incur; to acquire; as, to contract a habit; to contract a debt; to contract a disease. Each from each contract new strength and light. --Pope. Such behavior we contract by having much conversed with persons of high station. --Swift. 4. To enter into, with mutual obligations; to make a bargain or covenant for. We have contracted an inviolable amity, peace, and lague with the aforesaid queen. --Hakluyt. Many persons . . . had contracted marriage within the degrees of consanguinity . . . prohibited by law. --Strype. 5. To betroth; to affiance. The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us. --Shak. 6. (Gram.) To shorten by omitting a letter or letters or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one. Syn: To shorten; abridge; epitomize; narrow; lessen; condense; reduce; confine; incur; assume.