content (oneself) with (someone or something)

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content (oneself) with (someone or something)

To be happy or satisfied with something, often something that is lacking or disappointing in some way. In order to get health insurance, I had to abandon acting and content myself with a boring office job. If you're trying to save money, you'll need to content yourself with the clothes you already own.
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content oneself with someone or something

to be satisfied with (usually less of) someone or something. You will just have to learn to content yourself with fewer nice vacations now that you have kids entering college.
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References in classic literature ?
I should find it hard to say just why his peculiar genius had such an absolute fascination for me from the very first, and perhaps I had better content myself with saying simply that my literary liberation began with almost the earliest word from him; for if he chained me to himself he freed me from all other bondage.
I could go on for years, but I will content myself with adding, that I shall never forget that glorious summer evening, and always remember with delight that steep hill, and the edge of the precipice where we stood together, watching the splendid sunset mirrored in the restless world of waters at our feet--with hearts filled with gratitude to heaven, and happiness, and love--almost too full for speech.
I shall content myself with barely observing here, that of all the confederacies of antiquity, which history has handed down to us, the Lycian and Achaean leagues, as far as there remain vestiges of them, appear to have been most free from the fetters of that mistaken principle, and were accordingly those which have best deserved, and have most liberally received, the applauding suffrages of political writers.
All right," said I; "then I must content myself with seeing you off at the station.
If I chose, I could kill you also; but I will be merciful, and content myself with changing you into a dog, an ass, a lion, or a bird--whichever you prefer.
I content myself with one, which is obvious and conclusive.
Well, then, go and find out Master Boxtel, at the White Swan Inn, and you can then settle matters with him; as for me, considering that the cause seems to me as difficult to judge as that which was brought before King Solomon, and that I do not pretend to be as wise as he was, I shall content myself with making my report, establishing the existence of the black tulip, and ordering the hundred thousand guilders to be paid to its grower.
In this speech Don Quixote wound up the evidence of his madness, but still better in what he added when he said, "God knows, I would gladly take Don Lorenzo with me to teach him how to spare the humble, and trample the proud under foot, virtues that are part and parcel of the profession I belong to; but since his tender age does not allow of it, nor his praiseworthy pursuits permit it, I will simply content myself with impressing it upon your worship that you will become famous as a poet if you are guided by the opinion of others rather than by your own; because no fathers or mothers ever think their own children ill-favoured, and this sort of deception prevails still more strongly in the case of the children of the brain.
Instead I had to content myself with rolling the windows down when I fired it up to listen to the glorious soundtrack.
Because I was in Hong Kong last weekend, I was unable to attend and just had to content myself with reading the mouthwatering menu sent by Jun Santos of the Spanish Economic and Commercial Office.
I, on the other hand, live in a building where only cats--no pigs--are permitted, so I have to content myself with the concept of roast vegetables.
I wanted to bring it back in bulk but had to content myself with two coffee mugs (thanks, Easyjet weight allowance).
When I'm away I have to content myself with its website which is well designed but never quite as satisfactory.
Letting somebody grab the last chocolate Hobnob feeds my belief that I am somehow virtuous, even though the decision to content myself with a Marie, or, if I'm lucky, a fruit shortcake, is hard-wired into my system.
Given the limits of this column, I must content myself with the basic policies.
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