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wishful +‎ -ness


wishfulness (usually uncountable, plural wishfulnesses)

  1. The state or quality of being wishful.
    • 1863, Anthony Trollope, Rachel Ray, London: Chapman & Hall, Volume 2, Chapter 8, p. 170,[1]
      She asked her little question with something of the softness of her old manner, with something of the longing loving wishfulness which used to make so many of her questions sweet to her mother’s ears.
    • 2004, Mark Feeney, Nixon at the Movies, University of Chicago Press, Chapter 7, p. 209,[2]
      [The film American Madness] simply hit too close to home for audiences in 1932: the wishfulness of its happy ending could not compensate for the familiarity of its painful subject.
  2. Wishful thinking.
    • 1950, Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast, Penguin, 1969, Chapter 36, p. 228,[3]
      For the long lost glories, that never in fact existed save in the wishfulness of their brains, were being remembered with a reality as vivid, if not more so, as truth itself.
    • 2007 March 13, “Wrong Turn on Sex Offenders”, in New York Times[4]:
      [] Gov. Eliot Spitzer has made New York the latest state to travel down a murky legal road, to a place where laws are made not in response to facts, but to wishfulness and fear.