Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Intimacy; familiarity.
  • n. Preoccupation with one's own thoughts or feelings; introspection.
  • n. The intrinsic or indispensable properties of something; essence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The characteristic of being inward; directed towards the inside.
  • n. Internal or true state; essential nature.
  • n. intimacy; familiarity
  • n. heartiness; earnestness

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Internal or true state; essential nature.
  • n. Intimacy; familiarity.
  • n. Heartiness; earnestness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being inward or internal; inclosure within.
  • n. Internal state; indwelling character or quality; the nature of a thing as it is in itself.
  • n. Inner meaning; real significance or drift; essential purpose.
  • n. Intimacy; familiarity; attachment.
  • n. The inwards; the heart; the soul.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. preoccupation especially with one's attitudes and ethical or ideological values
  • n. the quality or state of being inward or internal
  • n. preoccupation with what concerns human inner nature (especially ethical or ideological values)
  • n. the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience

Etymologies

inward +‎ -ness (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We are such inward secret creatures, that inwardness is the most amazing thing about us, even more amazing than our reason. but we cannot just walk into the cavern and look around.

    Come With Me My Love To the Sea, the Sea of Love… « So Many Books

  • In a way, John Ames, with his intense scholarship and inwardness, is a type of religious figure that crosses cultures.

    Gilead's Balm

  • I clearly remember the day it finally occurred to me that insects, animals and the like had "inwardness"--that they felt pain and fear the same way I did.

    Instant Empathy?

  • Strictly speaking, the appearance of "inwardness" in the external world — that is, the appearance of forms incommensurable with the "laws" of the visible world — is an impossible event, a contradiction that produces the intrinsic obscurity of nightlife (its location, its language, its social composition).

    Club Monad

  • Just like that, one day the switch flipped from off to on, and I grasped their "inwardness".

    Forgive Michael Vick?

  • In order for white audiences to sense their "inwardness" the actors had to be white.

    A different perspective on Carradine's career.

  • There was far greater respect for the "inwardness" of, say, Greek captives,I don't believe conservatives really think Iraq is in the best interests of the United States.

    What Would YOU Think?

  • When I wrote "Lion's Blood," my story of Africans colonizing America, I tasked myself to give the Irish slaves more humanity, more "inwardness" than I had ever seen a white author give black characters.

    Writing What You Don't Know

  • But I would have practiced my kind of inwardness, thinking my own thoughts as I did when alone, dreaming wonderful dreams, feeling a life stir within me.

    An Interpretation of Friends Worship

  • The artist in his studio, the writer in his study, strive to tell their soul's secret; the peasant throws himself at the feet of the priest, for, like them, he would unburden himself of that terrible weight of inwardness which is man.

    Evelyn Innes

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