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From Middle English woodnesse, wodnesse, from Old English wōdnes, corresponding to wood (mad, insane) +‎ -ness.


woodness (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Madness, fury.
    • 1485 July 31, Thomas Malory, “Capitulum XV”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book I, [London: William Caxton], OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur, London: Published by David Nutt, in the Strand, 1889, OCLC 890162034, page 015:
      THEN Lucas saw King Agwisance, that late had slain Moris de la Roche, and Lucas ran to him with a short spear that was great, that he gave him such a fall, that the horse fell down to the earth. Also Lucas found there on foot, Bloias de La Flandres, and Sir Gwinas, two hardy knights, and in that woodness that Lucas was in, he slew two bachelors and horsed them again.
      1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter xv, in Le Morte Darthur, book I:
      THenne lucas sawe kyng Agwysaunce that late hadde slayne Morys de la roche / and lucas ran to hym with a short spere that was grete / that he gaf hym suche a falle that the hors felle doun to the erthe / Also lucas found there on fote bloyas de la flaundres and syr Gwynas ij hardy knyȝtes & in that woodenes that lucas was in / he slewe ij bachelers & horsed hem ageyn
    • 1567, Arthur Golding (translator), The XV Bookes of P. Ouidius Naso, entytuled Metamorphosis, Book 5,[1]
      [] This sodaine chaunge from feasting vnto fray
      Might well be likened to the Sea: whych standing at a stay
      The woodnesse of the windes makes rough by raising of the waue.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, Book 3, Canto 11, p. 567,[2]
      [] with fell woodnes he effierced was,
      And wilfully him throwing on the gras
      Did beat and bounse his head and brest ful sore [] .