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Probably originated from the suffix -ость (-ostʹ) added to words ending in -ный (-nyj), and was then extracted by metanalysis as a productive suffix. The same thing happened with e.g. -те́льный (-télʹnyj) and English -ness.


-ность (-nostʹ)

  1. Suffix forming nouns denoting the quality of the action designated by the verbs from which the nouns are formed.
    погреши́ть (pogrešítʹ, to err)погре́шность (pogréšnostʹ, mistake, error, fault)
    принадлежа́ть (prinadležátʹ, to belong)принадле́жность (prinadléžnostʹ, belonging, accessory)
    провини́ться (provinítʹsja, to commit an offence)прови́нность (provínnostʹ, misconduct, offence)
  2. Suffix forming abstract nouns from adjectives. A less productive alternative to -ость (-ostʹ).
    гото́вый (gotóvyj, ready)гото́вность (gotóvnostʹ, readiness) (no such word *гото́вный exists)
  3. Suffix forming nouns with the meaning of a group of things characterized by the quality designated by the adjectives from which the nouns are formed.
    живо́й (živój, living)жи́вность (žívnostʹ, small creatures collectively)

Usage notes[edit]

Not all words in -ность (-nostʹ) contain this suffix. Most of them are formed from -ость (-ostʹ) added to adjectives in -ный (-nyj), e.g. вре́дность (vrédnostʹ, harmfulness) from вре́дный (vrédnyj, harmful).


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]