Contact or direct attack is a term used to describe the condition when one Pokémon in a battle physically touches the opponent in order to deal damage with a move.
Contact is distinct from whether a move is physical or special in nature, but most moves that make contact are physical moves, while most special moves do not make contact; status moves do not make contact in any case.
Damages the holder each turn for 1/8 of their max HP. Transfers to an attacker on contact.
In Pokémon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, battle animations for contact moves do not show the attacking Pokémon hitting the defending one at all. As in the Stadium series, physical blows usually utilize quick camera cuts between the attacking and defending Pokémon to imply direct contact.