contact, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more English; in this sense, probably first used by government forces of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) during the war of the 1970s.
Military
An encounter with an enemy force; a patrol or expedition intended to lead to such an encounter. Also attributive.
Note:
Not exclusively South African English.
1977 Joint Operational Dict. 104Contact, Any form of encounter between the security forces and terrorists other than a mere sighting.
1979 S. Afr. Digest 5 Oct. 3The terrorists had been killed in nine contacts. The contacts had been made on the initiative of the security forces.
1980 Fair Lady 3 Dec. 63‘I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular when we left on this contact. We drove through the night......I didn’t ask him about the contact because he is not allowed to divulge details.
1983 Sunday Times 4 Sept. (Lifestyle) 1Danny..used to lie in ambush with his fellow trainees, hoping there wouldn’t be a contact.
1985 Frontline Aug. 54Some ous would get morphine from the medics, but most of us were just on dagga. We’d smoke before contact. You get scared in contact, you know.
1989 Sunday Times 9 Apr. 2‘There’s a contact with Swapo close by,’ he said.
An encounter with an enemy force; a patrol or expedition intended to lead to such an encounter. Also attributive.
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19771989