a native English suffix attached to adjectives and participles, forming abstract nouns denoting quality and state (and often, by extension, something exemplifying a quality or state): darkness; goodness; kindness; obligingness; preparedness.
TAKE THIS QUIZ TO SEE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL PUNCTUATION!
Commas mark divisions in sentences. Periods end declarative sentences. Apostrophes show possession. Easy, right? Well, punctuation can get pretty tricky—fast. Think you got what it takes to be a punctuation expert? Take our quiz to prove it!
Question 1 of 10
Which of the options below is the best punctuation for the sentence? It__s your turn to pick the movie __ but your sister gets to pick the board game we _ re going to play.
Its your turn to pick the movie but your sister gets to pick the board game we’re going to play.
It’s your turn to pick the movie but your sister gets to pick the board game were going to play.
It’s your turn to pick the movie, but your sister gets to pick the board game we’re going to play.TAKE THE QUIZ TO FIND OUT
Origin of -ness
Middle English, Old English -nes, -nis, cognate with German -nis, Gothic -(n)assus; suffix orig. *-assus; -n- by false division of words with adj. and past participle stems ending in -n-; compare Old English efnes (later efen-nys) evenness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for -ness
suffix forming nouns
indicating state, condition, or quality, or an instance of one of thesegreatness; selfishness; meaninglessness; a kindness
Word Origin for -ness
Old English -nes, of Germanic origin; related to Gothic -nassus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012