A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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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)

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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. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/keenness/.

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