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minuteness
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1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) by Orwell
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minuteness
Used In
1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) by Orwell
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as in: a minute amount Define
very, very small
  • The scientist of today is either a mixture of psychologist and inquisitor, studying with real ordinary minuteness the meaning of facial expressions, gestures, and tones of voice, and testing the truth-producing effects of drugs, shock therapy, hypnosis, and physical torture; or he is chemist, physicist, or biologist concerned only with such branches of his special subject as are relevant to the taking of life.

  • There are no more uses of "minuteness" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • Don’t eat a lot of poppy seeds for a few days before a drug test. They have a minute amount of a chemical that can cause a false positive when testing for heroin use.
  • Even a minute amount of lead can be harmful to children.

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unspecified meaning
  • The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the principal figure.
  • The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in.

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  • In the Two Minutes Hate he could not help sharing in the general delirium, but this sub-human chanting of ’B-B!
  • He must leave in ten minutes.
  • The Physical Jerks would begin in three minutes.
  • Every few minutes the old man kept repeating: ’We didn’t ought to ’ave trusted ’em.
  • As for the third message, it referred to a very simple error which could be set right in a couple of minutes.
  • But yesterday, at any rate, during the Two Minutes Hate, she had sat immediately behind him when there was no apparent need to do so.
  • For a couple of minutes he had the feeling that he would die if he did not reach a lavatory soon.
  • As he turned it occurred to him that the girl had only passed him three minutes ago and that by running he could probably catch up with her.

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  • At this moment O’Brien glanced at his wrist-watch, saw that it was nearly eleven hundred, and evidently decided to stay in the Records Department until the Two Minutes Hate was over.
  • The alley led out into the main street, and down the next turning, not five minutes away, was the junk-shop where he had bought the blank book which was now his diary.
  • Within three or four minutes he was out of the area which the bomb had affected, and the sordid swarming life of the streets was going on as though nothing had happened.
  • Winston dialled ’back numbers’ on the telescreen and called for the appropriate issues of The Times, which slid out of the pneumatic tube after only a few minutes’ delay.
  • He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control.
  • He let what he judged to be ten minutes go by, tormented all the while by the fear that some accident — a sudden draught blowing across his desk, for instance — would betray him.
  • Three messages had slid out of the pneumatic tube while Winston was working, but they were simple matters, and he had disposed of them before the Two Minutes Hate interrupted him.
  • But he lingered for some minutes more, talking to the old man, whose name, he discovered, was not Weeks-as one might have gathered from the inscription over the shop-front — but Charrington.
  • It was nearly eleven hundred, and in the Records Department, where Winston worked, they were dragging the chairs out of the cubicles and grouping them in the centre of the hall opposite the big telescreen, in preparation for the Two Minutes Hate.
  • It was not till a couple of minutes later that the other, more probable explanation had occurred to him.
  • Eight minutes had gone by.
  • If there was any relief, it was in his work, in which he could sometimes forget himself for ten minutes at a stretch.
  • The girl’s table filled up a few minutes later.
  • At five minutes past the hour the girl had still not appeared.
  • I want you to turn your back on me for three minutes.
  • In some of these streets a woman daren’t leave a baby alone for two minutes.
  • Winston did not get up for a few minutes more.
  • He usually stopped to talk with Mr Charrington for a few minutes on his way upstairs.
  • During the Two Minutes Hate she always excelled all others in shouting insults at Goldstein.
  • She also stirred a sort of envy in him by telling him that during the Two Minutes Hate her great difficulty was to avoid bursting out laughing.
  • It was no good, because I threw it away a few minutes later.
  • They had been talking to one another for a couple of minutes at the most.
  • Nothing that I can do or say, or stop myself from saying, will put off your death for as much as five minutes.
  • You can stop being a servant for the next ten minutes.
  • We have about twenty minutes at our disposal.
  • ’There are a couple of minutes before you need go,’ said O’Brien.
  • But within two or three minutes it was all over.
  • By the third day his eyes ached unbearably and his spectacles needed wiping every few minutes.
  • The speech had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes when a messenger hurried on to the platform and a scrap of paper was slipped into the speaker’s hand.
  • If you’re happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?’
  • They had only lagged behind the others for a couple of minutes, but they took a wrong turning, and presently found themselves pulled up short by the edge of an old chalk quarry.
  • The queue edged forward till Winston was almost at the counter, then was held up for two minutes because someone in front was complaining that he had not received his tablet of saccharine.
  • In the long, windowless hall, with its double row of cubicles and its endless rustle of papers and hum of voices murmuring into speakwrites, there were quite a dozen people whom Winston did not even know by name, though he daily saw them hurrying to and fro in the corridors or gesticulating in the Two Minutes Hate.
  • Actually, all the possible ways of communicating with her had occurred to him within five minutes of reading the note; but now, with time to think, he went over them one by one, as though laying out a row of instruments on a table.
  • He went back to his cubicle, sat down, threw the fragment of paper casually among the other papers on the desk, put on his spectacles and hitched the speakwrite towards him. five minutes,’ he told himself, ’five minutes at the very least!
  • He went back to his cubicle, sat down, threw the fragment of paper casually among the other papers on the desk, put on his spectacles and hitched the speakwrite towards him. five minutes,’ he told himself, ’five minutes at the very least!
  • She suddenly twisted herself over in the bed, seized a shoe from the floor, and sent it hurtling into the corner with a boyish jerk of her arm, exactly as he had seen her fling the dictionary at Goldstein, that morning during the Two Minutes Hate.
  • They talked desultorily for some minutes, then, without apparent reason, a yell from the telescreen bade them be silent.
  • Twenty minutes, an hour — it was difficult to judge.
  • Soon, very soon, perhaps in five minutes, perhaps now, the tramp of boots would mean that his own turn had come.
  • It might be ten minutes hence, or ten years.
  • In some streets a woman dare not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes.
  • It was more natural to exist from moment to moment, accepting another ten minutes’ life even with the certainty that there was torture at the end of it.
  • He thought how ten minutes ago-yes, only ten minutes — there had still been equivocation in his heart as he wondered whether the news from the front would be of victory or defeat.
  • He thought how ten minutes ago-yes, only ten minutes — there had still been equivocation in his heart as he wondered whether the news from the front would be of victory or defeat.
  • The discontents produced by his bare, unsatisfying life are deliberately turned outwards and dissipated by such devices as the Two Minutes Hate, and the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline.
  • From the moment when he was inside the Ministry of Love — and yes, even during those minutes when he and Julia had stood helpless while the iron voice from the telescreen told them what to do — he had grasped the frivolity, the shallowness of his attempt to set himself up against the power of the Party.
  • As they drifted down the crowded pavements, not quite abreast and never looking at one another, they carried on a curious, intermittent conversation which flicked on and off like the beams of a lighthouse, suddenly nipped into silence by the approach of a Party uniform or the proximity of a telescreen, then taken up again minutes later in the middle of a sentence, then abruptly cut short as they parted at the agreed spot, then continued almost without introduction on the following day.
  • But there were other days when they settled down to their work almost eagerly, making a tremendous show of entering up their minutes and drafting long memoranda which were never finished — when the argument as to what they were supposedly arguing about grew extraordinarily involved and abstruse, with subtle haggling over definitions, enormous digressions, quarrels threats, even, to appeal to higher authority.
  • There were times when the fact of impending death seemed as palpable as the bed they lay on, and they would cling together with a sort of despairing sensuality, like a damned soul grasping at his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is within five minutes of striking.

  • There are no more uses of "minuteness" in the book.


To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: a minute amount Define
very, very small
as in: keep the minutes Define
a written record of what happened at a meeting
Show Multiple Meanings (More common than this sense)
Go to Book Vocabulary
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