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Atlas Shrugged
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Atlas Shrugged
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as in: the metal contracted Define
when something gets shorter or smaller
  • He felt the sudden contraction of his mouth, like a slap denying him the right to pursue this course of thought.
  • There were evenings when she noticed the faint contraction of anger in the tightness of his mouth, as he signed the expected names of the expected fraud, anger at those who made fraud necessary.

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  • He saw only the faintest contraction of her mouth, but he knew that the question was like a blow across an open wound.
  • At his last sentence, he saw a faint contraction of her cheeks and lips; it was not quite a smile, but it gave him her whole answer: pain, admiration, understanding.
  • Rearden saw her watching them-and the faintest contraction of his eyes was like a smile of sanction, as if his glance were repeating to her the message he had sent her from the valley.
  • The door was not locked, thought Dagny; she felt an unreasoning desire to tear it open and walk in-it was only a few wooden boards with a brass knob, it would require only a small muscular contraction of her arm-but she looked away, knowing that the power of a civilized order and of Ken Danagger’s right was more impregnable a barrier than any lock.
  • But they-she looked at the face of her signal engineer —they believed that that muscular contraction of a hand was the only thing required to move the traffic-and now the tower men stood idleand on the great panels in front of the tower director, the red and green lights, which had flashed announcing the progress of trains at a distance of miles, were now so many glass beads-like the glass beads for which another breed of savages had once sold the Island of Manhattan.

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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
  • Eddie, have them draw up the contract with Rearden Steel.
  • I’ve cancelled the contract.

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  • "The Board approved the Associated Steel contract," he said hastily.
  • To have the nerve to pull such a low, unspeakable …. just because of some vicious rumors, when we have a contract for two hundred years and ….
  • Got me a long-term contract.
  • We’ve just signed a contract with him, for the first ten Diesel engines he’ll build.
  • "Put it down in writing," she said, "and we’ll sign a contract to that effect."
  • "You don’t want to sign such a contract?"
  • What contract?
  • The People’s State of Mexico was eager to co-operate, and signed a contract guaranteeing for two hundred years the property right of Taggart Transcontinental to its railroad line in a country where no property rights existed.

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  • It was a contract, an obligation!
  • He had negotiated a loan from those banks, but the contract had not been signed.
  • He did not say a word, he picked up the contract, tore it across, handed it to them and walked out.
  • Besides, you’ve fulfilled your contract.
  • He felt the tight, contemptuous movement of his lips pressed together in token of the words he cried to himself: You made a contract once, now stick to it.
  • And then he thought suddenly that in business transactions the courts of law did not recognize a contract wherein no valuable consideration had been given by one party to the other.
  • Guilty of a fierce desire to remain alive, they and Rearden traded like savages, without rights, titles, contracts or protection, with nothing but mutual understanding and a ruthlessly absolute observance of one’s given word.
  • There’s nothing in the union contracts about men standing with lanterns.
  • If he was willing to give it up, they said, and to ferry his passengers across the river on barges, as other railroads were doing, the contract would stand and he would get the money to continue his line west on the other shore; if not, then the loan was off.
  • He remembered the austerely pitiless respect he had felt for his contract of marriage, for all his contracts and all his legal obligations-and he saw what sort of legality his scrupulous observance was expected to serve.
  • He remembered the austerely pitiless respect he had felt for his contract of marriage, for all his contracts and all his legal obligations-and he saw what sort of legality his scrupulous observance was expected to serve.
  • …meals, interrupted and abandoned at the sudden flash of a new thought, a thought to be pursued at once, to be tried, to be tested, to be worked on for months, and to be discarded as another failure—the moments snatched from conferences, from contracts, from the duties of running the best steel mills in the country, snatched almost guiltily, as for a secret love—the one thought held immovably across a span of ten years, under everything he did and everything he saw, the thought held in…
  • …money into unknown hands in exchange for unsupported promises, into unsigned, unrecorded loans to dummy owners of failing minesmoney handed and taken furtively, as an exchange between criminals, in anonymous cash; money poured into unenforceable contracts-both parties knowing that in case of fraud, the defrauded was to be punished, not the defrauder-but poured that a stream of ore might continue flowing into furnaces, that the furnaces might continue to pour a stream of white metal.
  • It had not been necessary to mention, since they all knew it, that the Interneighborly Amity and Development Corporation had an exclusive contract to operate, on a twenty-year "managerial lease," all the industrial properties of the People’s States of the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.
  • But you expect industrial giants-who plan in terms of decades, invest in terms of generations and undertake ninety-nine-year contracts-to continue to function and produce, not knowing what random caprice in the skull of what random official will descend upon them at what moment to demolish the whole of their effort.
  • She knew that the best among them, those of the longest range and most complex function, had long since gone-and those still struggling to produce, struggling savagely to preserve the code of an age when production had been possible, were now inserting into their contracts a line shameful to a descendant of Nat Taggart: "Transportation permitting."
  • She knew that no train schedules could be maintained any longer, no promises kept, no contracts observed, that regular trains were cancelled at a moment’s notice and transformed into emergency specials sent by unexplained orders to unexpected destinations-and that the orders came from Cuffy Meigs, sole judge of emergencies and of the public welfare.
  • She knew that these were the men of the emergency specials, the men who could cancel her scheduled trains and send them to any random spot of the continent which they chose to strike with their voodoo stamp, the stamp superseding contract, property, justice, reason and lives, the stamp stating that "the public welfare" required the immediate salvation of that spot.
  • …that had waited for a shipment of ball bearings, its machinery idle, its workers on full pay; or the closing of a sawmill in Oregon, that had waited for a new motor; or the closing of a lumber yard in Iowa, left without supply; or the bankruptcy of a building contractor in Illinois who, failing to get his lumber on time, found his contracts cancelled and the purchasers of his homes sent wandering off down snowswept roads in search of that which did not exist anywhere any longer.
  • Eddie said, "He’s walked out on a pile of contracts that are worth a fortune.
  • When I phoned her that the contract was signed, she laughed and said, "You see?
  • The sanctity of contract’-is that it?"
  • The third had said, his voice belligerently insolent, that he would attempt the task on a ten-year contract at twenty-five thousand dollars a year-"After all, Miss Taggart, if you expect to make huge profits on that motor, it’s you who should pay for the gamble of my time.

  • There are no more uses of "contract" in the book.

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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