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In the absence of a statutory definition, courts 'start with the assumption that the legislative purpose is expressed by the ordinary meaning of the words used.' Richards v. United States, 369 U. S. 1, 369 U. S. 9 (1962); Russello v. United States, 464 U. S. 16, 464 U. S. 21 (1983). This is done in the light of the ''object and policy'' of the statute. Mastro Plastics Corp. v. NLRB, 350 U. S. 270, 350 U. S. 285 (1956), quoting 49 U. S. 122 (1849). Courts therefore look both to the generally accepted meaning of the term and to the purpose of the statute. 

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