Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • suffix State; quality; condition; degree: brightness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • suffix Appended to adjectives to form nouns meaning "the state of (the adjective)", "the quality of (the adjective)", or "the measure of (the adjective)".
  • suffix 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A suffix used to form abstract nouns expressive of quality or state.

Etymologies

Middle English -nes, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Old English -nis, -nes ("-ness"), from Proto-Germanic *-nassuz (“-ness”), alteration (by false division) of -n- (adjective and verbal terminating consonant) + Proto-Germanic *-assuz (“-ness”). Akin to Old Saxon -nissi, -nussi (Dutch -nis), Old High German -nissa, -nassi, -nussi (German -nis), Gothic -inasus, -inassus (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think there is a certain joy and a certain abandonment that this record has that really comes from the "live"-ness, the spontaneity, and the fear factor of recording live.

    Mike Ragogna: Sing It Loud: Chatting with k.d. lang, JD Souther and Bobby Long, Plus a Beginners Audio Exclusive

  • The "married"-ness refers to the incredible harmony between pork and bitter greens – a marriage made in the muck of smallholdings rather than the heavens, but special and sacred nonetheless.

    Jacob Kenedy's Italian Christmas recipes

  • The company stated that the rent it charged workers was calculated to amortize the cost of the cottages over five years at 6 percent a year, but that only underscores its excessive -ness.

    Colossus

  • Here are suggestions for some television shows that might be able to replace what you love about the "Mad"-ness in your life.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

  • "With-it"-ness takes work, like reading the right blogs every day, challenging yourself to stay abreast of the latest technology, and social media marketing.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Before filming the skating scene, the men sat huddled in Johnson's tiny trailer and their boyish manliness exposed itself: They talked about the "awesome"-ness that is Bob Dylan and taunted Greenfield for his in-depth knowledge of "Glee."

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • The results showed that specific details of the cranial bones and beak - such as the relative "spongy"-ness of the bone at different places in the skull and the unequal lengths of the upper and lower parts of the beak - were crucial for preventing impact injury.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Before filming the skating scene, the men sat huddled in Johnson's tiny trailer and their boyish manliness exposed itself: They talked about the "awesome"-ness that is Bob Dylan and taunted Greenfield for his in-depth knowledge of "Glee.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.