A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
        Search Transcribed Entries:

Keenness

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1146

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1146

Ke'enness. n.s. [from keen.]

  1. Sharpness; edge.

    No, not the hangman's ax bears half the keenness
    Of thy sharp envy.
    Shakesp. Merchant of Venice.

  2. Rigor of weather; piercing of cold.

  3. Asperity; bitterness of mind.

    That they might keep up the keenness against the court, till the coming together of both houses, his lordship furnished them with informations, which might be wrested to the king's disadvantage. Clarendon.

    The sting of every reproachful speech is the truth of it; and to be conscious is that which gives an edge, and keenness to the invective. South's Sermons.

  4. Eagerness; vehemence.

Sources: Clarendon, Edward (73) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · South, Robert (158)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

Discuss this entry in the forums.

Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Keenness." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 17, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=3136.


Leave a Reply


Disclaimer:
johnsonsdictionaryonline.com is completely free to use. Johnson's dictionary is in the public domain, but please respect the hours of work put into this site by linking to it or crediting it. This site assumes no liability for its content or for the content of external sites linked to it, and has no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy or availability.