Difference Wiki

Constrict vs. Contract: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on November 22, 2023
"Constrict" means to tighten or narrow, usually referring to physical objects, while "Contract" generally refers to decreasing size, length, or becoming more compact, or legally binding agreements.

Key Differences

"Constrict" typically implies a force that causes something to become tighter or narrower, often exerting pressure. For example, a snake constricts its prey. In medical terms, blood vessels may constrict, limiting blood flow. "Contract," on the other hand, has a broader application. Muscles contract during exercise, becoming shorter and tighter. It's a more general term for the process of becoming smaller or shorter, not necessarily due to external pressure.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023
"Constrict" often carries a sense of restriction or limitation, particularly in physical contexts. When something constricts, it often hinders normal movement or function, like constricting clothing. "Contract," however, is often neutral or even positive in physical contexts, like when pupils contract in bright light, a natural and necessary response. But "contract" can also refer to entering into a legal agreement, which "constrict" does not cover.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023
The term "constrict" is less common in everyday conversation and is mostly used in specific contexts like medicine or descriptions of physical restriction. It's rarely used metaphorically. "Contract," however, appears frequently, applicable in various contexts from legal (contract a deal) to physical changes (contract a muscle) and even diseases (contract an illness), showcasing its versatility.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023
"Constrict" is more about the process and effect — the act of tightening and the state of being tightened. It doesn't imply any agreement or deal but a physical change. "Contract" can signify a process, like when a substance contracts as it cools, but it's also about the result: a legal document, a contracted illness, a muscle's state post-contraction.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023
In linguistics, "constrict" isn't used as a term, but "contract" can refer to the shortening of words or syllables. The latter is part of language evolution, where long phrases contract into shorter ones for efficiency. This linguistic meaning of "contract" illustrates its thematic consistency: a reduction in size or length.
Janet White
Nov 22, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Tighten or narrow
Decrease size; legal agreement
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Usage

Specific/medical contexts
Versatile: legal, physical, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Implication

Restriction/limitation
Reduction, agreement, illness
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Commonality in Speech

Less common
Common in various contexts
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Linguistic Term

Not used
Refers to word shortening
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023
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Constrict and Contract Definitions

Constrict

To draw together; tighten.
Her anxiety made her throat constrict.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

To become affected with (an illness).
She contracted the flu last winter.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Constrict

To restrict the freedom or movement of.
The snake constricted its prey.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To slow or impede by pressure.
Blood flow constricts with cold.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

The writing or document containing such an agreement.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To limit or bind tightly.
His chest constricted with pain.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

The branch of law dealing with formal agreements between parties.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Marriage as a formal agreement; betrothal.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To squeeze or compress.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

The last and highest bid of a suit in one hand in bridge.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To restrict the scope or freedom of; cramp
Lives constricted by poverty.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

The number of tricks thus bid.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To become constricted.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Contract bridge.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

(ambitransitive) To narrow, especially by application of pressure.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

A paid assignment to murder someone
Put out a contract on the mobster's life.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To coil around (prey) in order to asphyxiate it.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To enter into by contract; establish or settle by formal agreement
Contract a marriage.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

(figurative) To limit or restrict.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To acquire or incur
Contract obligations.
Contract a serious illness.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To draw together; to render narrower or smaller; to bind; to cramp; to contract or cause to shrink.
Such things as constrict the fibers.
Membranous organs inclosing a cavity which their contraction serves to constrict.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To reduce in size by drawing together; shrink.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

Squeeze or press together;
She compressed her lips
The spasm contracted the muscle
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To pull together; wrinkle.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

Become tight or as if tight;
Her throat constricted
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(Grammar) To shorten (a word or words) by omitting or combining some of the letters or sounds, as do not to don't.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Constrict

To become narrower.
The path constricted as they progressed.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

To enter into or make an agreement
Contract for garbage collection.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To become reduced in size by or as if by being drawn together
The pupils of the patient's eyes contracted.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

An agreement between two or more parties, to perform a specific job or work order, often temporary or of fixed duration and usually governed by a written agreement.
Marriage is a contract.
Sign a contract
Write up a contract
Read a contract
Countersign a contract
Legally-binding contract
Unwritten contract
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(legal) An agreement which the law will enforce in some way. A legally binding contract must contain at least one promise, i.e., a commitment or offer, by an offeror to and accepted by an offeree to do something in the future. A contract is thus executory rather than executed.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(legal) The document containing such an agreement.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(legal) A part of legal studies dealing with laws and jurisdiction related to contracts.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(informal) An order, usually given to a hired assassin, to kill someone.
The mafia boss put a contract out on the man who betrayed him.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(bridge) The declarer's undertaking to win the number of tricks bid with a stated suit as trump.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(obsolete) Contracted; affianced; betrothed.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(obsolete) Not abstract; concrete.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(ambitransitive) To draw together or nearer; to shorten, narrow, or lessen.
The snail’s body contracted into its shell.
To contract one’s sphere of action
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(grammar) To shorten by omitting a letter or letters or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one.
The word “cannot” is often contracted into “can’t”.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(transitive) To enter into a contract with. en
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(transitive) To enter into, with mutual obligations; to make a bargain or covenant for.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(intransitive) To make an agreement or contract; to covenant; to agree; to bargain.
To contract for carrying the mail
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(transitive) To bring on; to incur; to acquire.
She contracted the habit of smoking in her teens.
To contract a debt
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(transitive) To gain or acquire (an illness).
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To draw together so as to wrinkle; to knit.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To betroth; to affiance.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

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.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To draw together so as to wrinkle; to knit.
Thou didst contract and purse thy brow.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

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.
Such behavior we contract by having much conversed with persons of high station.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

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.
Many persons . . . had contracted marriage within the degrees of consanguinity . . . prohibited by law.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To betroth; to affiance.
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To shorten by omitting a letter or letters or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To be drawn together so as to be diminished in size or extent; to shrink; to be reduced in compass or in duration; as, iron contracts in cooling; a rope contracts when wet.
Years contracting to a moment.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To make an agreement; to covenant; to agree; to bargain; as, to contract for carrying the mail.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Contracted; as, a contract verb.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Contracted; affianced; betrothed.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

The agreement of two or more persons, upon a sufficient consideration or cause, to do, or to abstain from doing, some act; an agreement in which a party undertakes to do, or not to do, a particular thing; a formal bargain; a compact; an interchange of legal rights.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

A formal writing which contains the agreement of parties, with the terms and conditions, and which serves as a proof of the obligation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

The act of formally betrothing a man and woman.
This is the the night of the contract.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

A binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

(contract bridge) the highest bid becomes the contract setting the number of tricks that the bidder must make
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

A variety of bridge in which the bidder receives points toward game only for the number of tricks he bid
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Enter into a contractual arrangement
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Engage by written agreement;
They signed two new pitchers for the next season
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Squeeze or press together;
She compressed her lips
The spasm contracted the muscle
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Become smaller or draw together;
The fabric shrank
The balloon shrank
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness;
He got AIDS
She came down with pneumonia
She took a chill
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Make smaller;
The heat contracted the woollen garment
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Compress or concentrate;
Congress condensed the three-year plan into a six-month plan
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Make or become more narrow or restricted;
The selection was narrowed
The road narrowed
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

Reduce in scope while retaining essential elements;
The manuscript must be shortened
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Contract

To enter into a legal agreement.
She'll contract her first book deal.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

To reduce in size by drawing together.
The metal contracted in the cold.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

To incur, as a liability or obligation.
He contracted a large debt.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Contract

To pull together; to shorten or shrink.
His muscles contracted with effort.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

FAQs

Can you "contract" a space?

Yes, in the sense of the space becoming smaller.
Janet White
Nov 22, 2023

Does "contract" always refer to legal matters?

No, it can also mean to reduce in size, acquire an illness, or shorten.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Does "constrict" imply oppression?

It can, especially when used metaphorically.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Can a contract be "constricting"?

In a metaphorical sense, if it severely limits freedom.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Is "constrict" used in legal jargon?

No, "constrict" is more about physical limitation, not legal agreements.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Does "contract" imply formality?

In legal usage, yes, but not in its other meanings.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 22, 2023

Can "contract" mean to agree on something?

Yes, especially in legal or formal contexts.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Can "constrict" be used for non-physical contexts?

Rarely, it's predominantly used for physical narrowing or tightening.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Is "constrict" related to "constraint"?

They share a root, both implying limitation or restriction.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Can "contract" refer to physical movements?

Yes, like muscles contracting.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Does "constrict" have a positive connotation?

Rarely, it's often about undesirable limitation.
Janet White
Nov 22, 2023

Can "constrict" mean to limit options?

Yes, especially in a metaphorical sense.
Janet White
Nov 22, 2023

Can "contract" be used in medical terms?

Yes, as in contracting a disease.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Can "contract" be involuntary?

Yes, like involuntary muscle contractions.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Can "constrict" refer to emotional responses?

It's possible, as in feeling constricted by fear.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Is "constrict" passive?

Not necessarily; it's the act and the effect.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Is "constrict" about pressure?

Often, it's about things being drawn tightly together, often by external force.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Can you "contract" obligations?

Yes, you can undertake obligations, often legally.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Does "constrict" suggest tightness?

Yes, it specifically implies tightening or narrowing.
Sara Rehman
Nov 22, 2023

Does "contract" have a directional implication?

It often implies inward movement or reduction.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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