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contract
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Bleak House
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contract
Used In
Bleak House
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as in: the metal contracted Define
when something gets shorter or smaller
  • "Do not dismiss me so soon, mademoiselle!" she said with an involuntary contraction of her fine black eyebrows.

  • There are no more uses of "contract" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • When it is cold, the bridge contracts and the joints are further apart.
  • The muscle is contracted because of the pain.

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unspecified meaning
  • The brilliant and distinguished circle comprehends within it no contracted amount of education, sense, courage, honour, beauty, and virtue.
  • He is facetiously understood to entertain a passion for a lady at a cigar-shop in the neighbourhood of Chancery Lane and for her sake to have broken off a contract with another lady, to whom he had been engaged some years.

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  • Mr. Tulkinghorn, profoundly attentive, throws this off with a shrug of self-depreciation and contracts his eyebrows a little more.
  • I recommend to him and you, for his sake and your own, that he should depart from us with the understanding that there is no sort of contract between you.
  • Mr. Tulkinghorn’s thoughts take such form as he looks at her, with his ragged grey eyebrows a hair’s breadth more contracted than usual under her gaze.
  • He looks at it at arm’s length, brings it close to him, holds it in his right hand, holds it in his left hand, reads it with his head on this side, with his head on that side, contracts his eyebrows, elevates them, still cannot satisfy himself.
  • Closed in by night with broad screens, and illumined only in that part, the light of the drawing-room seems gradually contracting and dwindling until it shall be no more.
  • Lady Dedlock sits before him looking him through, with the same dark shade upon her face, in the same attitude even to the holding of the screen, with her lips a little apart, her brow a little contracted, but for the moment dead.
  • "Tain’t easy to say where you’d find him—at this time of the day you might find either him or his son there, if he’s in town; but his contracts take him away."
  • By degrees we appeared to contract our search within narrower and easier limits.

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  • Secondly, that the very atmosphere she breathes seems to narrow and contract about her as if a close net or a pall were being drawn nearer and yet nearer around her breathless figure.
  • …however, the possession, and the only possession except fifty shillings per annum and a very small box indifferently filled with clothing, of a lean young woman from a workhouse (by some supposed to have been christened Augusta) who, although she was farmed or contracted for during her growing time by an amiable benefactor of his species resident at Tooting, and cannot fail to have been developed under the most favourable circumstances, "has fits," which the parish can’t account for.
  • And then he showed me, proved by elaborate calculations in his pocket-book, that supposing he had contracted, say, two hundred pounds of debt in six months out of the army; and that he contracted no debt at all within a corresponding period in the army—as to which he had quite made up his mind; this step must involve a saving of four hundred pounds in a year, or two thousand pounds in five years, which was a considerable sum.
  • And then he showed me, proved by elaborate calculations in his pocket-book, that supposing he had contracted, say, two hundred pounds of debt in six months out of the army; and that he contracted no debt at all within a corresponding period in the army—as to which he had quite made up his mind; this step must involve a saving of four hundred pounds in a year, or two thousand pounds in five years, which was a considerable sum.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: legal contract Define
an agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
as in: contract the disease Define
to get -- especially in reference to a disease
as in: the metal contracted Define
when something gets shorter or smaller
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