Use the suffix ~NESS to increase your English vocabulary (Fast)

The suffix –ness means state (condition) or quality. Words (usually adjectives) with the suffix ness become nouns that mean – Having the quality of the root word. – The noun happiness is the quality of being happy. Fitness is the quality of being fit.

The suffix ~NESS Meaning

The suffix -NESS means – the quality, state, or character of
ness suffix – Definition, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
When you add the suffix to the end of adjectives the new word will become a noun that means having the quality of the adjectives.

Suffix ~ness examples

Adjective+ ness = nounExample sentences 
kindkindness – the quality of being kindThank you for your kindness.
happyhappiness – the quality of being happy I wish you lots of love and happiness.
drydryness – the quality of being dryThis medicine may cause dryness of the mouth. 
sillysilliness –  the quality of being sillyI’ve tolerated your silliness long enough.
blindblindness – the quality of being blindDrinking wood alcohol may cause blindness.
darkdarkness –  the quality of being darkDarkness is falling, we should get home.
awareawareness – the quality of being awareAirport security needs a high level of awareness to be good at their job.
illillness –  the quality of being illI missed a lot of school because of illness last year.
fitfitness – the quality of being fit I’m strong but I’d like to improve my fitness

“After a great dinner and coffee, I thanked my host for his kindness and went home.” = I really appreciated how kind my host was. Kind is an adjective, kindness is a noun.

“Airport security needs a high level of awareness to be good at their job.” = Security needs to be very aware so they can notice anything suspicious or strange. Aware is an adjective, awareness is a noun.

“As it got late the darkness spread across the land…” = It became dark. Dark is an adjective, darkness is a noun.

Suffix ~ness spelling note

If a two-syllable adjective ends in the letter Y, the Y will change into an I before adding NESS.

  • happy – happiness
  • friendly – friendliness
  • busy – business
  • lonely loneliness 

Three letter adjectives ending in Y don’t often change to an I.

  • shy – shyness
  • sly – slyness 

It’s common to see adjectives written as nouns with the suffix ~ness on medicine labels listing the side effects

  • This medicine may cause dryness of the mouth.
  • These pills may cause drowsiness.
  • Patients may experience bloating and gassiness

Suffix ~ness example table image

suffix ness examples
Looking for more useful English suffixes? Try these other awesome posts on my blog!
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Suffix ~ness worksheet

Suffix ~NESS Infographic

Suffix ~NESS Infographic

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