the act or state of touching or of being near enough to touch:[uncountable]The rear wheels lost contact with the road.
[uncountable] the act or state of being in communication:The pilot of the plane lost contact with the control tower.[in + ~]still in contact with my high school friends.
a person who can gain access to favors, influential people, etc.:[countable]had a contact down at city hall.
Electricity a part of an electric circuit that joins electric conductors, used for completing or interrupting a circuit:[countable]The reason for the power failure was that some contacts were worn and failed to complete a circuit.
*contag-, variant stem of contingere to touch (con-con- + -tingere, combining form of tangere to touch) + -tus suffix of verb, verbal action; compare tango,attain
Latin contāctus a touching, equivalent. to contāc-
Many verbs in English have derived from nouns. One can head an organization or toe the mark; butter the bread or bread the cutlet. Hence, grammatically at least, there is no historical justification for the once frequently heard criticism of contact used as a verb meaning "to communicate with'':The managing editor contacted each reporter personally.Despite the earlier objections to it and probably largely because there is no other one-word verb in the language to express the same idea, this use of contact has become standard in all types of speech and writing. Contact as a noun meaning "a person through whom one can gain access to information and the like'' is also standard:My contact at the embassy says that the coup has been successful.