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From nasty +‎ -ness.


nastiness (countable and uncountable, plural nastinesses)

  1. (uncountable) Lack of cleanliness.
    • 1684, John Dryden, “The Eighteenth Epistle of the First Book of Horace”, in Miscellany Poems[1], 4th edition, volume 2, London: Jacob Tonson, published 1716, page 242:
      They neither comb their Head, nor wash their Face, / But think their virtuous Nastiness a grace.
    • 1759, David Hume, “[Elizabeth I.] Chapter 37.”, in The History of England, under the House of Tudor. [], volume II, London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, [], →OCLC, pages 448-449:
      Erasmus ascribes the frequent plagues in England to the nastiness and dirt and slovenly habits among the people. “The floors,” says he, “are commonly of clay, strewed with rushes, under which lies unmolested an ancient collection of beer, grease, fragments, bones, spittle, excrements of dogs and cats, and every thing that is nasty.”
  2. (uncountable) Dirt, filth.
  3. (uncountable) Indecency; corruption; unkindness, meanness, spite, harshness, cruelty.
    • 1995 September 4, John Skow, “Snobs and Wetbacks”, in Time:
      Among current novelists, Martin Amis lacks intellectual force but is well supplied with nastiness, which occasionally resembles humor.
    • 2017 February 18, Teddy Wayne, “The Culture of Nastiness”, in New York Times:
      Despite efforts to curb hate speech, eradicate bullying and extend tolerance, a culture of nastiness has metastasized in which meanness is routinely rewarded, and common decency and civility are brushed aside.
  4. (uncountable) Unpleasantness, disagreeableness (to the senses).
  5. (countable) A nasty action, object, quality, etc. (all senses of nasty).
    • 1854, John Simon, Preface to Reports Relating to the Sanitary Condition of the City of London[2], London: John W. Parker & Son, page xx:
      If we, who are educated, habitually submit to have copper in our preserves, red-lead in our cayenne, alum in our bread, pigments in our tea, and ineffable nastinesses in our fish-sauce, what can we expect of the poor?
    • 1899, Charles George Harper, chapter 39, in The Bath Road: History, Fashion & Frivolity on an Old Highway[3], London: Chapman & Hall, pages 237–238:
      [] imagine the delights of bathing when the Baths were open to public view, the said public delighting to throw dead cats, offal, and all manner of nastinesses among the bathers!
    • 2001 November 4, Arion Berger, “‘New American Language’: Bern Again”, in The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company, →ISSN, →OCLC:
      He’s too thoughtful to pretend he’s speaking for humankind on what passes for a Dan Bern protest song—“Tape” folds in a conversational outreach to a girl (“Baby did you get the tape I sent?”) along with a rundown of various societal nastinesses, including the prescient, “We might get to see World War III by Thanksgiving Day.”