ness

[nes]
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Origin of ness

before 900; Middle English -nes(se) (in place names), in part continuing Old English næs, in part < Old Norse nes; akin to nose

-ness

  1. 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

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
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British Dictionary definitions for ness

ness

noun
    1. archaica promontory or headland
    2. (capital as part of a name)Orford Ness

Word Origin for ness

Old English næs headland; related to Old Norse nes, Old English nasu nose

Ness

noun
  1. Loch Ness a lake in NW Scotland, in the Great Glen: said to be inhabited by an aquatic monster. Length: 36 km (22.5 miles). Depth: 229 m (754 ft)

-ness

suffix forming nouns
  1. 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

Word Origin and History for ness
n.

obsolete except in place names, Old English næs "a promontory," related to nasu "nose" (see nose (n.)). Cognate with Old Norse nes, Danish næs, Swedish näs, Middle Dutch nesse.

-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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper