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Etymology 1[edit]

Possibly coined by George Berkeley for his 1709 Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision


outness (usually uncountable, plural outnesses)

  1. (philosophy) The collective of things that are distinct from the observer.
  2. (philosophy) The property of being distinct.
    • 2008, John Veitch, Hamilton:
      Distance means degree of outness of one thing from another; but it presupposes outness as a fact and a conception.

Etymology 2[edit]

Popularised by Lynne Pearlman in her 1989 thesis Theorizing Lesbian Oppression and the Politics of Outness in the Case of Waterman v. National Life Assurance


outness (uncountable)

  1. The extent to which someone, particularly a lesbian, is open about her sexuality.
    • 2008, Debra A. Hope, Contemporary Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities:
      Couples who are discrepant on outness may have conflict around such issues as where to live (e.g. in an obvious gay neighbourhood), whether to bring a partner to work-related social events, and how to introduce their partner to family members.