-ness

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.
[ME, OE -nes, -nis, c. G -nis, Goth -(n)assus; suffix orig. *-assus; -n- by false division of words with adj. and ptp. stems ending in -n-; cf. OE efnes (later efen-nys) EVENNESS]

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Universalium. 2010.

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