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Etymology edit

From Middle English egernesse, egrenesse; equivalent to eager +‎ -ness.

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Noun edit

eagerness (usually uncountable, plural eagernesses)

  1. The state or quality of being eager; ardent desire.
    • 1910 November – 1911 August, Frances Hodgson Burnett, chapter 20, in The Secret Garden, New York, N.Y.: Frederick A[bbott] Stokes Company, published 1911, →OCLC:
      The things he had to tell about...were enough to make you almost tremble with excitement, when you heard all the intimate details from an animal charmer and realized with what thrilling eagerness and anxiety the whole busy underworld was working.
  2. (obsolete) Tartness, sourness.
    • 1601, C[aius] Plinius Secundus [i.e., Pliny the Elder], “[Book XIX.] Of Garden herbes which serue for to season our meats.”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Historie of the World. Commonly Called, The Naturall Historie of C. Plinius Secundus. [], 2nd tome, London: [] Adam Islip, published 1635, →OCLC, page 31:
      Senvie, which is of a most biting and stinging tast, of a fierie effect, [] serveth also to make a pretie dish of meat to be eaten, being boiled or stewed between too[sic – meaning two] little dishes in some convenient liquor, in such sort, as a man shall not feele it to bite at the tongues end, nor complaine of any eagernesse that it hath.
    • 1691, Thomas Tryon, The Way to Health, Long Life and Happiness [] , 2nd edition, page 121:
      Presently the balsamick body is wounded, and turns sour sooner or later according to the degree of the motion; for this fierce motion or working wastes the pure spirituous Balsam, and awakens the original Qualities of Saturn and Mars, viz. an astringent Eagerness, or sour hard Quality, that would not have been manifested, if this irregular Motion had not excited it.
    • 1744, William Ellis, The London and Country Brewer, 5th edition, volume 2, page 148:
      To this I answer that Beer nor Ale can be drawed off so fine from the Mash-Tun or Cooler, as to want a sufficient Sediment to feed it, as may be easily proved by an Observation when the Drink is drawn off, that never yet appeared to me without rather too much of this filthy Compound, which by its earthy and saline Parts naturally induces Hardness and Eagerness in the Liquor.

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