Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of not being alive. Having the property of lifelessness, as if dead.
  • n. A lack of elasticity.
  • n. A lack of sparkle in a fizzy drink.
  • n. A lack of animation in a person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being destitute of life, vigor, spirit, activity, etc.; dullness; inertness; languor; coldness; vapidness; indifference

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being dead. Want of life or vital power in a once animated body, as an animal or a plant, or in a part of it.
  • n. The state of being by nature without life; inanimateness.
  • n. A state resembling that of death: as, the deadness of a fainting-fit.
  • n. Want of activity or sensitiveness; lack of force or susceptibility; dullness; coldness; frigidity; indifference: as, deadness of the affections.
  • n. Flatness; want of spirit: as, the deadness of liquors.

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

  • n. the physical property of something that has lost its elasticity
  • n. the inanimate property of something that has died
  • n. the quality of being unresponsive; not reacting; as a quality of people, it is marked by a failure to respond quickly or with emotion to people or events

Etymologies

dead +‎ -ness (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He had a great many other things to say; but this was what we were willing to hear: a reaction against the gross contempt for soldiering which had really given a certain Chinese deadness to the Victorians.

    The Victorian Age in Literature

  • It might be described as a deadness — or an absence of life; something that no face, upon an upright figure, should be.

    Last Posed Photo of Jack London

  • Besides, that blindness, ignorance, darkness, deadness, which is everywhere ascribed to us in the state of nature, doth fully comprise that also whereof we speak.

    Of Communion with God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost

  • Rabbinic characters, committed portions of the Hebrew Old Testament to memory, &c.; and this I did with prayer, often falling on my knees, leaving my books for a little, that I might seek the Lord's blessing, and also, that I might be kept from that spiritual deadness, which is so frequently the result of much study.

    A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with George Müller Written by Himself, First Part

  • 'I should have thought the deadness was a mild word for it, if it had been named to me when we brought you in.

    Our Mutual Friend

  • Most people also describe an intense quietness, except for thunder that may accompany the ash fall, giving a "deadness" to the normal sounds of life.

    What's it like during an ash fall?

  • Well, the "deadness" of anything anthropomorphizable is up for grabs of course.

    Recipe

  • The adamant assertions that the plane that had been found was Oceanic 815, and that there are no survivors, is in fact disconfirmed, unless there is some sense in which being alive on the island is a form of "deadness".

    Confirmed LOST

  • That's to say, you look at inhabited faces, faces that have stopped being flesh in that negative sense in with which we began, the untenanted, the empty space where relation doesn't happen, the spark doesn't kindle, where there is a kind of deadness and a kind of isolation which makes us less than human.

    Hildegard Lecture, Thirsk

  • By-and-by a change came, not in the way of happiness, perhaps, but in a lightening of that deadness which is of necessity the most hopeless of all conditions.

    The Gentle Art of Cooking Wives

Comments

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  • I like "A state resembling that of death: as, the deadness of a fainting-fit."

    March 11, 2011

  • The Century Dictionary definitions for deadness read like lines from Monte Python's Parrot Sketch, so aptly rendered by John Cleese.

    March 11, 2011