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From Old English clǣnnes, corresponding to clean +‎ -ness.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkliːn.nəs/
  • (file)


cleanness (usually uncountable, plural cleannesses)

  1. Moral purity; innocence.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, “vj”, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVI:
      Certes sayd the good man that is sothe / for he shalle be the best knyghte of the world and the fairest of alle the felauship / But wete yow wel there shall none atteyne it but by clennes that is pure confession
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. The state of being physically clean and free of contamination or dirt; cleanliness.
    • 2022 February 23, Benedict le Vay, “Part of rail's past... present... and future”, in RAIL, number 951, page 56:
      "But if so, why do you see so many young children on steam trains - apart, that is, from being dragged along by their fathers, or grandfathers?
      "I think they enjoy them because they are simply so different, so mechanical, so hot, oily and clanky, so dirty, so 'analogue' in a digital world. They are everything modern life tries to extirpate in favour of silence, smoothness and cleanness. Kids love that.