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Contraction vs. Constriction: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"Contraction" refers to the shortening of words or muscles, while "constriction" involves the narrowing or tightening of passages or structures.
Contraction vs. Constriction

Key Differences

Contraction involves the shortening or tightening of muscle fibers or the combining of words in grammar. Constriction refers to the process of narrowing or tightening, often of vessels, ducts, or passageways.
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Nov 27, 2023
Contraction is commonly used in physiological and grammatical contexts. Constriction is typically used in medical, biological, or mechanical contexts.
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In muscles, contraction leads to movement or tension; in language, it shortens phrases. Constriction causes a decrease in diameter or space, restricting flow or movement.
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Contraction is a key concept in fields like linguistics, obstetrics, and sports medicine. Constriction is relevant in areas like cardiology, plumbing, and engineering.
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Contraction is encountered in everyday speech (e.g., "can't," "won't") and physical activities. Constriction is noticed in situations like blood vessel constriction or tightening of spaces.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Shortening or combining in language; tightening in muscles
Narrowing or tightening of passages or structures
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Context

Linguistic and physiological
Medical, biological, mechanical
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Effect

Movement or tension in muscles; abbreviation in language
Decrease in diameter, restricting flow or movement
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Associated Fields

Linguistics, obstetrics, sports medicine
Cardiology, plumbing, engineering
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Everyday Examples

"I'm" instead of "I am"; muscle tightening
Blood vessels narrowing; pipes getting narrower
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Contraction and Constriction Definitions

Contraction

Grammatical Shortening
In the contraction 'don't,' 'do' and 'not' are combined.
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Nov 13, 2023

Constriction

Limitation of Space
Constriction in the pipe caused a blockage.
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Nov 13, 2023

Contraction

Shortening in Time or Space
The contraction of the timeline increased pressure.
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Constriction

Psychological Limitation
He felt a constriction of freedom in the new rules.
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Nov 13, 2023

Contraction

The act of contracting or the state of being contracted.
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Oct 19, 2023
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Constriction

Reduction in Scope or Range
Budget cuts led to a constriction in research funding.
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Nov 13, 2023

Contraction

A word, as won't from will not, or phrase, as o'clock from of the clock, formed by omitting or combining some of the sounds of a longer phrase.
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Oct 19, 2023

Constriction

The act or process of constricting.
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Oct 19, 2023

Contraction

The formation of such a word.
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Constriction

The condition or result of being constricted.
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Contraction

(Physiology) The shortening and thickening of functioning muscle or muscle fiber.
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Oct 19, 2023

Constriction

Something that constricts.
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Contraction

Any of a series of sudden and involuntary tightenings of the uterine muscles occurring before or during childbirth.
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Constriction

A feeling of tightness or pressure
Fear caused a sudden constriction in my chest.
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Oct 19, 2023

Contraction

A period of decreased business activity.
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Constriction

A constricted or narrow part.
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Contraction

A reversible reduction in size.
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Constriction

The act of constricting, the state of being constricted, or something that constricts.
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Oct 19, 2023

Contraction

(economics) A period of economic decline or negative growth.
The country's economic contraction was caused by high oil prices.
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Oct 19, 2023

Constriction

A narrow part of something; a stricture.
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Contraction

A shortening of a muscle during its use.
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Constriction

A compression.
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Contraction

A strong and often painful shortening of the uterine muscles prior to or during childbirth.
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Constriction

The act of constricting by means of some inherent power or by movement or change in the thing itself, as distinguished from compression.
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Oct 19, 2023

Contraction

(linguistics) A process whereby one or more sounds of a free morpheme (a word) are lost or reduced, such that it becomes a bound morpheme (a clitic) that attaches phonologically to an adjacent word.
In English, didn't, that's, and wanna, the endings -n't, -'s, and -a arose by contraction.
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Constriction

The state of being constricted; the point where a thing is constricted; a narrowing or binding.
A constriction of the parts inservient to speech.
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Contraction

(English orthography) A word with omitted letters replaced by an apostrophe, usually resulting from the above process.
Don't is a contraction of do not; and 'til is a contraction of until.
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Constriction

A narrowing that reduces the flow through a channel
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Contraction

A shorthand symbol indicating an omission for the purpose of brevity.
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Constriction

Tight or narrow compression
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Contraction

The acquisition of something, generally negative.
Our contraction of debt in this quarter has reduced our ability to attract investors.
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Constriction

A feeling of tightness in some part of the body;
He felt a constriction in her chest
Emotion caused a constriction of his throat
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Oct 19, 2023

Contraction

The process of contracting a disease.
The contraction of malaria
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Oct 19, 2023

Constriction

The action or process of compressing
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Contraction

(phonetics) Syncope, the loss of sounds from within a word.
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Oct 19, 2023

Constriction

Narrowing of Passages
Constriction of blood vessels can affect blood flow.
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Nov 13, 2023

Contraction

A distinct stage of wound healing, wherein the wound edges are gradually pulled together.
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Oct 19, 2023

Constriction

Tightening Effect
The snake's constriction was powerful and swift.
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Contraction

The act or process of contracting, shortening, or shrinking; the state of being contracted; as, contraction of the heart, of the pupil of the eye, or of a tendon; the contraction produced by cold.
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Contraction

The process of shortening an operation.
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Contraction

The act of incurring or becoming subject to, as liabilities, obligation, debts, etc.; the process of becoming subject to; as, the contraction of a disease.
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Contraction

Something contracted or abbreviated, as a word or phrase; - as, plenipo for plenipotentiary; crim. con. for criminal conversation, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Contraction

The shortening of a word, or of two words, by the omission of a letter or letters, or by reducing two or more vowels or syllables to one; as, ne'er for never; can't for can not; don't for do not; it's for it is.
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Contraction

A marriage contract.
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Contraction

(physiology) a shortening or tensing of a part or organ (especially of a muscle or muscle fiber)
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Contraction

The process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together;
The contraction of a gas on cooling
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Contraction

A word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds;
`won't' is a contraction of `will not'
`o'clock' is a contraction of `of the clock'
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Contraction

The act of decreasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope
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Contraction

Physiological Shortening
Muscle contraction is essential for movement.
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Nov 13, 2023

Contraction

Economic Reduction
The market saw a contraction in consumer spending.
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Contraction

Involuntary Muscle Action
A contraction during childbirth is a natural process.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is muscle contraction?

Muscle contraction is the process of muscle fibers shortening to produce movement.
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What causes blood vessel constriction?

Blood vessel constriction can be caused by various factors, including temperature changes, stress, or certain medications.
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How do contractions work in English grammar?

In grammar, contractions shorten words by combining them, often using an apostrophe.
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Are contractions always voluntary?

No, some contractions, like those during childbirth, are involuntary.
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What is the result of airway constriction?

Airway constriction can lead to difficulty breathing and is a characteristic of conditions like asthma.
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Can constriction be harmful?

Yes, constriction, especially of blood vessels or airways, can be harmful and require medical attention.
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What is an example of a contraction?

An example is "can't," which is a contraction of "cannot."
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Is contraction important in childbirth?

Yes, contractions are vital in the process of childbirth, helping to deliver the baby.
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Is constriction always physical?

While often physical, constriction can also refer to limitations in non-physical contexts, like freedom.
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What is mechanical constriction?

Mechanical constriction refers to the narrowing or tightening of mechanical parts, like pipes.
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What are the symptoms of vessel constriction?

Symptoms can include reduced blood flow, cold extremities, and in severe cases, pain.
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Can contractions be used in formal writing?

Contractions are generally avoided in formal writing.
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Can emotional stress cause constriction?

Yes, emotional stress can lead to physical constriction, like in blood vessels.
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Are contractions a sign of a healthy pregnancy?

Contractions are normal in pregnancy, but their timing and intensity are important for assessing health.
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Can constriction occur in nature?

Yes, natural constriction occurs in phenomena like snake predation or plant growth.
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What industries deal with constriction issues?

Industries like plumbing, HVAC, and medical devices often deal with constriction issues.
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Can contractions be confusing in English?

Yes, especially for learners, since they can change the word forms and sounds.
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Do all languages use contractions?

Many languages have contractions, but the specifics vary widely.
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Is constriction always negative?

Not always; in some contexts, like in mechanical systems, it can be a necessary and functional aspect.
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How do I recognize a contraction in English?

Look for shortened word forms with an apostrophe replacing omitted letters.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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