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lank +‎ -ness


lankness (countable and uncountable, plural lanknesses)

  1. The property of being lank, slender or thin.
    The boy's lankness reflected his malnutrition.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, Chapter 35,[1]
      The gravity of his dress, together with a certain lankness of cheek and stiffness of deportment, added nearly ten years to his age, but his figure was that of one not yet past thirty.
    • 1856, “Turner’s Pictures at Marlborough House,” The Athenæum, No. 1516, 15 November, 1856, p. 1407,[2]
      Phryne going to the Bath as Venus.[] Was ever such a heap of rag dolls ever brought together and called men and women. Venuses indeed!—say rather limp-lanknesses seen through a burnt-sienna fog in a classical dream after falling asleep over one of Racine’s tragedies.
    • 1914, B. M. Bower, Flying U Ranch, Chapter 8,[3]
      When he turned inquiringly toward them they saw that he was stoop-shouldered; though not from any deformity, but from sheer, slouching lankness.
  2. (of hair) The property of being lank: straight, flat and limp.
    • 1771, Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting in England, Volume 4, Chapter 1, p. 2,[4]
      Linen, from what œconomy I know not, is seldom allowed in those portraits, even to the ladies, who lean carelesly on a bank, and play with a parrot they do not look at, under a tranquillity which ill accords with their seeming situation, the slightness of their vestment and the lankness of their hair having the appearance of their being just risen from the bath, and of having found none of their cloaths to put on, but a loose gown.