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The unwritten, unspoken rules of polite society. It's what keeps you from laughing or commenting on bodily functions that happen in public and ignoring homeless/smelly people until you can escape their visual/audible range.

May also apply to catching someone doing something inappropriate in public, in which both parties act like nothing happened and/or nothing was seen.
I went into the bathroom to wash my hands just as David was flushing the toilet. His shit stunk so bad, it was all I could think about. I tried to hold my breath and ignore it as the social contract keeps me from acknowledging the fact that his shit smell was suffocating me.
by YouStinkLikeShit January 17, 2012
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May 7 Word of the Day
Paper product used as a barrier against unwanted messes, such as the liner at the bottom of a bird cage.
Please put a New York Times under that before it gets all over the place.
by Phaedrus331 February 12, 2021
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