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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.
    • 1903, A. W. Pollard (ed.), Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (1485) , volume I, Bk. I, chapter XV:
      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
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen, III.11:
      with fell woodnes he effierced was, / And wilfully him throwing on the gras / Did beat and bounse his head and brest ful sore [].