contraction joint

noun Architecture, Civil Engineering.
a joint between two parts of a structure, designed to compensate for the contraction to which either part may be subject.

1905–10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
The contraction joint sawing shall be performed as soon as possible after
  placement of concrete, to avoid random cracking.
Leader text updated from weakened plane joint to contraction joint to reflect
  current pavement terminology.
The maximum allowable contraction joint spacing is specified in the plans.
Except as otherwise provided for dowels, reinforcement is never continuous
  across a contraction joint.
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