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Atlas Shrugged
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Atlas Shrugged
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unspecified meaning
  • To the last minute, every one of them had hoped that someone would save them from it.
  • Within a few minutes, they noticed that Taggart had become silent.

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  • "Why …. wait a minute …. I haven’t said-"
  • He slumped sidewise over the arm of the chair and caught sight of a clock on a distant building: it was twenty minutes past noon.
  • There was only one minute left.
  • The decree came out this morning, just five minutes ago, they sprang it on us like that, without any notice!
  • And you’ll continue to do it, too, so long as I’ve got somebody you need-and not a minute longer.
  • He hoped no one would notice him for a few minutes.
  • Apparently, it was a surprise move and it took them just forty-five minutes.
  • We can settle it in a few minutes, you and I.

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  • It was a succession of minutes, but it hit them as a single whole.
  • Dagny had been studying her for some minutes.
  • Her office car was waiting for her at one of the Terminal platforms, attached to the end of a train due to leave for Washington in a few minutes.
  • Just a few minutes ago.
  • She had flown to New York unexpectedly, at a moment’s notice, leaping to the controls of her plane within twenty minutes after hearing a brief item in a news broadcast.
  • In the investigations that followed, it was learned that Mulligan had planned the closing in advance and in minute detail; his employees were merely carrying out his instructions.
  • But at the mills, it prompted him to action in an immediate impulse to correct the error; now, it had no effect…… Just a few more minutes, he thought, standing against the mirror, his eyes closed.
  • He did not pause to grasp it now-because in the flooding brightness of what he felt, another thought, which was its predecessor, had become clear to him and had been holding him for many minutes past.
  • Taggart did not follow; he stood, feeling that anything was preferable to one more minute of their conversation.
  • There was a ten-minute period on the agenda for discussion and objections.
  • I’ll prove it to you within the next fifteen minutes.
  • He stood looking absently at the living room of his suite, a few minutes’ elevator ride away from the party.
  • She came back a few minutes later, laughing in uncontrollable exultation.
  • It is now twelve minutes past midnight.
  • Lester Tuck produced a soiled map, which he had been consulting every few minutes since nightfall.
  • She glanced at her watch: it was a few minutes past midnight.
  • She did not want to hear him name the hope which she had felt for many minutes past.
  • He had preceded her into the valley by some ten minutes, she thought, but he was one of them, while she was still a stranger.
  • "-who took fifteen minutes," said Mulligan.
  • There was, even within the four men who had listened, a remnant of human dignity, which made them sit still and feel sick for the length of one minute.
  • Be with you in a minute!
  • The last thing she remembered was that she had dropped down on the couch, intending to rest for ten minutes, when the window was black and the clock stood at 3:30.
  • She leaped down to the ground the moment the plane stood still, the hours of the flight swept from her mind by the impatience over the stretch of a few more minutes.
  • She tried not to think of the work for a few minutes longer, while she dragged herself past the desk to her washroom and let handfuls of cold water run over her face.
  • She knew that Ken Danagger was as rigidly exact about his schedule as a railroad timetable and that he had been known to cancel an interview if a caller permitted himself to arrive five minutes late.
  • Through the two hours of her flight to Pittsburgh, Dagny had been tensely unable to justify her anxiety or to dismiss it; there was no reason to count minutes, yet she had felt a blind desire to hurry.
  • She felt that with every passing minute he was moving away into some great distance where she would not be able to reach him, but there was still some thin bridge left between them and she had to hurry.
  • The search ended when Eugene Lawson came to shake Taggart’s hand and to say, his wet lower lip twisting like a cushion to soften the blow, "Mr. Mouch couldn’t come, Jim, Mr. Mouch is so sorry, he had a special plane chartered, but at the last minute things came up, crucial national problems, you know."
  • Oh well, I suppose the whole company knew it within the first ten minutes…… No, I don’t know whether I’m glad that she’s back…… Sure, she’ll save the railroadfor another year or month…… What do you want me to say? …. No, she didn’t.
  • I forgot that I promised to wait, I forgot everything-until a few minutes ago, when Mr. Mulligan told me that you’d crashed here in a plane, and then I knew it was my fault, and if anything had happened to you-oh God, are you all right?
  • She took a shower, and stood for long, blank minutes, letting the water run over her body, but stepped out hastily when she realized that what she wanted to wash off was not the dust of the drive from the country, but the feel of the office.
  • She saw him stop for long minutes and look off, as if his mind were racing over countless sudden trails, trying to follow them all-she saw him leaf back through the pages, then stop, then force himself to read on, as if he were torn between his eagerness to continue and his eagerness to seize all the possibilities breaking open before his vision.
  • "Just a minute, please," drawled the voice, in the impatient tone that resents any effort as an imposition.
  • Listen, kid, I’d give you a job this minute and I’d trust you with more than a sweeper’s job, if it were up to me.
  • In another minute, the lock fell out and the door shuddered forward the width of an inch.
  • She glanced at her watch: forty seven minutes ago, she had still been in the valley.
  • I’ll give you three minutes to explainif you want to be heard at all.
  • They’ve lifted the production quotas off my mills-for the next five minutes, I guess.
  • She felt as if minutes went by between the words of the unnatural voice that did not sound like her own.
  • She turned away, not to let them see in her face the scream of the knowledge of what that dust had been a few minutes ago.
  • Meet me in forty minutes, on the northwest corner, two blocks east of the main entrance of the Taggart Terminal,
  • She was in the bedroom of her apartment, in less than five minutes, tearing off her evening gown.
  • The shocks now came at irregular, unpredictable intervals, one after another or minutes apart.
  • He left ten-fifteen minutes ago.
  • He wondered why she should scream so long after the fact-and then he realized that the time elapsed since the touch of the first lever was not a full minute.
  • When he had gone, she felt as if the motion of time were an oppressive weight in the stillness of the house, like a stationary, half-solid mass slithering slowly into some faint elongation by a tempo that left her no measure to know whether minutes had passed or hours.
  • "If you change your mind," said Francisco, "I’ll hire you on the spot—or Midas will give you a loan in five minutes to finance that railroad, if you want to own it yourself."
  • It was the watchers who found it unbearable to wait through the minutes of the pauses filled with the sound of the heartbeat: the heart was now racing in an irregular rhythm.
  • She was so used to them that she did not hear them consciously, but the sound became a sense of peace within her…… When she extinguished her cigarette, she knew that she needed another one, but thought that she would give herself a minute, just a few minutes, before she would light it…… She had fallen asleep and she awakened with a jolt, knowing that something was wrong, before she knew what it was: the wheels had stopped.
  • She was so used to them that she did not hear them consciously, but the sound became a sense of peace within her…… When she extinguished her cigarette, she knew that she needed another one, but thought that she would give herself a minute, just a few minutes, before she would light it…… She had fallen asleep and she awakened with a jolt, knowing that something was wrong, before she knew what it was: the wheels had stopped.
  • It was the muscles of his own face that made Rearden realize the nature of his reaction to Francisco’s arrival: he noticed suddenly that he was smiling and that his face had been relaxed into the dim well being of a smile for some minutes past, as he watched Francisco d’Anconia in the crowd.
  • He was looking at a blank face that seemed composed, but the composure became disquieting when one noticed that it lasted for minute after minute, with no change of expression, no sign of feeling.
  • He was looking at a blank face that seemed composed, but the composure became disquieting when one noticed that it lasted for minute after minute, with no change of expression, no sign of feeling.
  • On the site of what had once been Project X, nothing remained alive among the ruins-except, for some endless minutes longer, a huddle of torn flesh and screaming pain that had once been a great mind.
  • And since they’re men like me, they keep inventing faster ways to make the things they make-so every one of them grants me an added minute, hour or day with the bread I buy from them, with the clothes, the lumber, the metal"-he glanced at Galt-"an added year with every month of electricity I purchase.
  • The conductor waited for a polite half-minute and turned to go, but stopped to volunteer an explanation, as if some dim, rational habit told him that any attempt to explain made any unadmitted terror easier to bear.
  • At first, I kept wondering how it could be possible that the educated, the cultured, the famous men of the world could make a mistake of this size and preach, as righteousness, this sort of abomination-when five minutes of thought should have told them what would happen if somebody tried to practice what they preached.
  • But-listen-the night before they were to start, Boyle’s men were heating the furnaces in that place on the coast, when they heard a voice, they didn’t know whether it came from a plane or a radio or some sort of loud-speaker, but it was a man’s voice and it said that he would give them ten minutes to get out of the place.
  • On the edge of the city, a cluster of trains gathered at the entrance to the Terminal tunnels and grew through the minutes of stillness, like blood dammed by a clot inside a vein, unable to rush into the chambers of the heart.
  • The mine had been working on three shifts, its days and nights blending into a single stretch of struggle to lose no minute, no drop of copper it could squeeze from the shelves of a mountain into the nation’s industrial desert.
  • The first of the wheat trains had started to channel the flood into the hungry flour mills, then bakeries, then stomachs of the nation-but every train, car and storage elevator counted, and there was no minute or inch of space to spare.
  • There were no marks of wheels on the thin strip of earth, it looked unused and forgotten, a few minutes and a few turns seemed to take the car miles away from human habitationand then there was nothing to break the pressure of the stillness but a rare wedge of sunlight cutting across the trunks in the depth of the forest once in a while.
  • …winter night, when the stars were out and it was very cold, when I was tired, because I had worked two shifts, and wanted nothing on earth except to lie down and fall asleep right there, on the mine ledge-I thought that some day I would sit in a place like this, where one drink of wine would cost more than my day’s wages, and I would have earned the price of every minute of it and of every drop and of every flower on the table, and I would sit there for no purpose but my own amusement.
  • But I think I’ve learned a little about the work in the two years I’ve been here-and if you could use me at all, as sweeper or scrap man or whatever you’d trust me with, I’d tell them where to put the deputy directorship and I’d go to work for you tomorrow, next week, this minute or whenever you say.
  • …immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own-I would refuse, I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every, power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being’s right to exist.
  • When they showed him how to hit a ball with a bat, a game he had never played before, he watched them for a few minutes, then said, "I think I get the idea.
  • But minutes later, when they went on through the woods, down a narrow path of damp earth, ferns and sunlight, he said, "Dagny, I’ll always bow to a coat-of-arms.
  • Now we are expected to continue running railroads and to know the minute when a train will arrive after crossing the span of a continent, we are expected to continue running steel mills and to know the molecular structure of every drop of metal in the cables of your bridges and in the body of the airplanes that support you in mid-airwhile the tribes of your grotesque little mystics of muscle fight over the carcass of our world, gibbering in sounds of non-language that there are no…
  • I …. I’m sorry I’m late, Mr. Rearden, but …. but they didn’t let me in on it till the last minute …. till just before it started …. They called me in on a …. a strategy conference …. there was a man there by the name of Peters …. from the Unification Board …. he’s a stooge of Tinky Holloway …. who’s a stooge of Orren Boyle …. What they wanted from me was …. they wanted me to sign a lot of passes …. to let some of the goons in …. so they’d start trouble from the inside and the outside…
  • The next voice she heard was Mr. Weatherby’s: "Wait a minute, boys.
  • She answered involuntarily, with a swift, bitter chuckle, "He wouldn’t last a minute!"-then corrected herself: "No, he would.
  • The chain of their steps had stretched through many silent minutes before she asked, "Why did you stand by me tonight?
  • The butter slipped a plate of plum pudding in front of him, and he heard Lillian’s voice: "Where have you been for the last five minutes, Henry-or is it for the last century?
  • "The secret of transforming energy-" she began, and stopped, "I could tell it to you in fifteen minutes," he said, in answer to the desperate plea she had not uttered, "but there’s no power on earth that can force me to tell it.
  • The hand of the clock went slicing off the minutes, while press photographers clicked their cameras at Mr. Thompson’s" sourly impatient face.
  • Where’s the conference, Jim?" she asked, and glanced at the clock: it was a huge white dial with a black hand slicing the minutes, like a knife moving toward the hour of eight.
  • order for every signal and switch, he’ll pick some men as runners and they’ll keep delivering the orders to every post-and it will take hours to do what used to take minutes, but we’ll get those waiting trains into the Terminal and out on the road-"
  • But the half-hour went by in silence, and whet there were only three minutes left, the boy felt a terror he could not explain, except that he did not want to send that order, He turned to the trainmaster and the road foreman, asking hesitantly, "Mr. Mitchum gave me an order before he left, but I wonder whether I ought to send it, because I …. I don’t think it’s right.
  • Hank Rearden got a flesh wound, but"-he glanced over his shoulder-"but he’s grinning at me right now…… Losses? I think we lost our temper for a few minutes back there, but we’re recovering…… Don’t try to beat me to Galt’s Gulch, I’ll land first-and I’ll help Kay in the restaurant to fix your breakfast."
  • It’s the final triumph of …. You’ll have to excuse me a minute, Dr. Stadler," said Dr. Ferris hastily, tearing forward, like an over trained lackey at the sound of a bell, in the direction of what looked like a group of aging rowdies; he turned back long enough to add two words which he seemed reverently to consider as a full explanation: "The press!"

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

To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: a minute amount Define
very, very small
as in: keep the minutes Define
a written record of what happened at a meeting
Show Multiple Meanings (More common than this sense)
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