From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Contact is a term used to describe the condition when one Pokémon in a battle physically touches the opponent in order to deal damage.
Up until Generation IV, moves that made contact could be either physical or special with damage dealing for moves that made contact depending on the move's type. However, since the distinction between physical and special are no longer based on type, most moves that make contact are physical. All status moves do not make contact. The use of contact-based moves can be affected directly by certain Abilities of the foe, such as Cute Charm and Effect Spore, and indirectly by certain attackers' Abilities, like Guts. The use of contact moves can also trigger several items. Contact can also be used to spread Pokérus.
List of physical moves that don't make contact
These are physical moves that do not make contact.