-ness

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See also: nes, ness, Nes, NES, and Ness

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Middle English, from Old English -nis, -nes, from Proto-Germanic *-nassuz. This suffix was formed already in Proto-Germanic by false division of the final consonant *-n- of the preceding stem + the actual suffix *-assuz. The latter was in turn derived from an earlier *-at(s)-tuz, from the verbal suffix *-at-janą + the noun suffix *-þuz.

Cognates are Old Saxon -nissi, -nussi, Dutch -nis, German -nis and Gothic -𐌰𐍃𐍃𐌿𐍃 (-assus), -𐌹𐌽𐌰𐍃𐍃𐌿𐍃 (-inassus).

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-ness

  1. Appended to adjectives to form nouns meaning "the state of (the adjective)", "the quality of (the adjective)", or "the measure of (the adjective)".
    calmnesscalm
    darknessdark
    kindnesskind
    onenessone
  2. Appended to words of other parts of speech to form nouns (often nonce words or terms in philosophy) meaning the state/quality/measure of the idea represented by these words.
    thatnessthat
    treenesstree

Usage notes[edit]

If adjective ends in -y, then this changes to -i- when -ness is suffixed. This occurs both when the -y is the suffix -y (having the quality of), as in messmessymessiness (hence -y-i-), but also in other cases, as in comelycomeliness.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]