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contingency
used in Moby Dick

3 uses
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Definition
something that might happen — especially something that it is hoped will not happen

or more rarely:

something available in case of an event — especially an event that it is hoped will not occur
  • How glad and how grateful the relief from this unnatural hallucination of the night, and the fatal contingency of being brought by the lee!
    Chapters 94-96 -- A Squeeze of the Hand; The Cassock; The Try-Works (89% in)
  • * *The sperm whale, as with all other species of the Leviathan, but unlike most other fish, breeds indifferently at all seasons; after a gestation which may probably be set down at nine months, producing but one at a time; though in some few known instances giving birth to an Esau and Jacob:—a contingency provided for in suckling by two teats, curiously situated, one on each side of the anus; but the breasts themselves extend upwards from that.
    Chapters 85-87 -- The Fountain; The Tail; The Grand Armada (88% in)
  • It frequently happens that when several ships are cruising in company, a whale may be struck by one vessel, then escape, and be finally killed and captured by another vessel; and herein are indirectly comprised many minor contingencies, all partaking of this one grand feature.
    Chapters 88-90 -- Schools and Schoolmasters; Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish; Heads or Tails (36% in)

There are no more uses of "contingency" in Moby Dick.

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