- 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.
Origin of -ness
- indicating state, condition, or quality, or an instance of one of thesegreatness; selfishness; meaninglessness; a kindness
Word Origin and History for -ness
word-forming element denoting action, quality, or state, attached to an adjective or past participle to form an abstract noun, from Old English -nes(s), from West Germanic *in-assu- (cf. Old Saxon -nissi, Middle Dutch -nisse, Dutch -nis, Old High German -nissa, German -nis, Gothic -inassus), from *-in-, noun stem, + *-assu-, abstract noun suffix, probably from the same root as Latin -tudo (see -tude).