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contagion
used in The Scarlet Letter

2 uses
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Definition the spread of disease or any idea or attitude — especially one that is harmful
  • For her kindred, should the tidings ever reach them, and for the companions of her unspotted life, there remained nothing but the contagion of her dishonour; which would not fail to be distributed in strict accordance and proportion with the intimacy and sacredness of their previous relationship.
    Chapter 9 -- The Leech (4% in)
  • Children, too young to comprehend wherefore this woman should be shut out from the sphere of human charities, would creep nigh enough to behold her plying her needle at the cottage-window, or standing in the doorway, or labouring in her little garden, or coming forth along the pathway that led townward, and, discerning the scarlet letter on her breast, would scamper off with a strange contagious fear.
    Chapter 5 -- Hester at her Needle (34% in)

There are no more uses of "contagion" in The Scarlet Letter.

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