Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The character of being a half or an incomplete state of something; the state of not being a whole or of being partial; incompleteness; imperfection.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. rare The quality of being half; incompleteness.
- half + -ness (Wiktionary)
“There was a "whole heap" (to use a Kentucky phrase) of "halfness" in that State during the war for the Union, and there was much more there after the war.”
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Written by Himself. His Early Life as a Slave, His Escape from Bondage, and His Complete History to the Present Time, Including His Connection with the Anti-slavery Movement; His Labors in Great Britain as Well as in His Own Country; His Experience in the Conduct of an Influential Newspaper; His Connection with the Underground Railroad; His Relations with John Brown and the Harper's Ferry Raid; His Recruiting the 54th and 55th Mass. Colored Regiments; His Interviews with Presidents Lincoln and Johnson; His Appointment by Gen. Grant to Accompany the Santo Domingo Commission--Also to a Seat in the Council of the District of Columbia; His Appointment as United States Marshal by President R. B. Hayes; Also His Appointment to Be Recorder of Deeds in Washington by President J. A. Garfield; with Many Other Interesting and Important Events of His Most Eventful Life; With an Introduction by Mr. George L. Ruffin, of Boston
“Without a turn such as that, and without the additional work of extending that bit of language into a larger dramatic whole, the anecdote amounts to little more than a clever but trivial riff on “halfness.””
“Solitude has austere lessons; it can teach us to spare both heroes and poets; and it weighs Shakespeare also, and finds him to share the halfness and imperfection of humanity.”
“In the former there is a “wholeness” to the participation; in the latter there is a “halfness” because the producer rarely receives more than 50% of 100% of the net profits or some commensurate amount of gross.”
“And was it her sacred duty to sit beside him in the green dress of Malintzi, in the church, the goddess admitting her halfness?”
“Doubleness, it is clear, is the cause of a thing being double, and from it is derived halfness.”
“But as soon as there is any departure from simplicity and attempt at halfness, or good for me that is not good for him, my neighbor feels the wrong; he shrinks from me as far as I have shrunk from him; his eyes no longer seek mine; there is war between us; there is hate in him and fear in me.”
“This strange sense of fatality in Gerald, as if he were limited to one form of existence, one knowledge, one activity, a sort of fatal halfness, which to himself seemed wholeness, always overcame Birkin after their moments of passionate approach, and filled him with a sort of contempt, or boredom.”
“He revolted at halfness, abhorred compromise, and demanded that men should be either hot or cold.”
“After all the homage which Emerson pays to the intellect of Shakespeare, he weighs him with the rest of mankind, and finds that he shares “the halfness and imperfection of humanity.””
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