-ness

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See also: ness and Ness

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English -nes, -nesse, from Old English -nis, -nes, from Proto-West Germanic *-nassī, from Proto-Germanic *-inassuz. 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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-ness

  1. Appended to adjectives to form nouns meaning "the state of being (the adjective)", "the quality of being (the adjective)", or "the measure of being (the adjective)".
    calm + ‎-ness → ‎calmness
    dark + ‎-ness → ‎darkness
    kind + ‎-ness → ‎kindness
    one + ‎-ness → ‎oneness
  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.
    that + ‎-ness → ‎thatness
    tree + ‎-ness → ‎treeness
    thug + ‎-ness → ‎thugness

Usage notes[edit]

  • If an 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. It does not, however, occur when the -y is part of the root, as in spryspryness.
  • Plurals are formed by adding -es, e.g. happinesshappinesses.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-ness

  1. Alternative form of -nesse

References[edit]


Old English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Suffix[edit]

-ness

  1. Alternative form of -nes

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

  • -ness in Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller (1898) An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary