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Nicholas Nickleby
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Nicholas Nickleby
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as in: the metal contracted Define
when something gets shorter or smaller
  • With his chin sunk upon his breast, and his downcast eyes quite hidden by the contraction of his knotted brows, he might have been asleep for any sign of consciousness he gave until the coach stopped, when he raised his head, and glancing through the window, inquired what place that was.

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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
  • Do you—do you think, ma’am—that I was very fond of such dirt beneath my feet, as I couldn’t condescend to touch with kitchen tongs, without blacking and crocking myself by the contract?
  • ’Mrs Wititterly is delighted,’ said Mr Wititterly, rubbing his hands; ’delighted, my lord, I am sure, with this opportunity of contracting an acquaintance which, I trust, my lord, we shall improve.

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  • To account for the rapidity with which this young lady had conceived a passion for Nicholas, it may be necessary to state, that the friend from whom she had so recently returned, was a miller’s daughter of only eighteen, who had contracted herself unto the son of a small corn-factor, resident in the nearest market town.
  • No contract or engagement, no word of love, has ever passed between us.
  • With these words, the stranger put a thick square card into Kate’s hand, and, turning to his friend, remarked, with an easy air, ’that the rooms was a good high pitch;’ to which the friend assented, adding, by way of illustration, ’that there was lots of room for a little boy to grow up a man in either on ’em, vithout much fear of his ever bringing his head into contract vith the ceiling.’
  • But the expression of his face, Sir Mulberry’s being averted, was in extraordinary contrast; and as he stood, in his usual attitude, calmly looking on the prostrate form before him, all that part of his features which was not cast into shadow by his protruding and contracted brows, bore the impress of a sarcastic smile.
  • In like manner, did young Ralph Nickleby avoid all those minute and intricate calculations of odd days, which nobody who has worked sums in simple-interest can fail to have found most embarrassing, by establishing the one general rule that all sums of principal and interest should be paid on pocket-money day, that is to say, on Saturday: and that whether a loan were contracted on the Monday, or on the Friday, the amount of interest should be, in both cases, the same.
  • He thrust his hands impatiently into his pockets, but notwithstanding his previous reflection there was some consolation there, for his face relaxed a little; and although there was still a deep frown upon the contracted brow, it was one of calculation, and not of disappointment.
  • The same love of gain which led him to contract this marriage, led to its being kept strictly private; for a clause in her father’s will declared that if she married without her brother’s consent, the property, in which she had only some life interest while she remained single, should pass away altogether to another branch of the family.
  • The conversation threatened to take a somewhat angry tone when it had arrived thus far, but Mrs Crummles opportunely interposed to prevent its leading to any violent outbreak, by making some inquiries of the literary gentleman relative to the plots of the six new pieces which he had written by contract to introduce the African Knife-swallower in his various unrivalled performances.

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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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