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refrain
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Bleak House
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refrain
Used In
Bleak House
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unspecified meaning
  • Is much applauded and encouraged; goes out of the room as Swills; comes in as the coroner (not the least in the world like him); describes the inquest, with recreative intervals of piano-forte accompaniment, to the refrain: With his (the coroner’s) tippy tol li doll, tippy tol lo doll, tippy tol li doll, Dee!
  • But he did not hint to me that when I had been better looking he had had this same proceeding in his thoughts and had refrained from it.

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  • In no way wearied by his sallies on the road, he was in the drawing-room before any of us; and I heard him at the piano while I was yet looking after my housekeeping, singing refrains of barcaroles and drinking songs, Italian and German, by the score.
  • It is possible, Mr. Jarndyce, that the gentleman to whom, for the reasons I have mentioned, I refrain from making further allusion— it is possible, Mr. Jarndyce, that that gentleman may have done me the honour so far to misapprehend my character as to induce you to believe that you would not have been received by my local establishment in Lincolnshire with that urbanity, that courtesy, which its members are instructed to show to all ladies and gentlemen who present themselves at thatů

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: a repeated refrain Define
something repeated regularly -- especially:
  • lines repeated after each verse of a song
  • a phrase or idea often repeated by someone or within a poem

as in: refrain from laughing Define
avoid or resist doing something
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