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 = noun||Example sentences|
|kind||kindness – the quality of being kind||Thank you for your kindness.|
|happy||happiness – the quality of being happy||I wish you lots of love and happiness.|
|dry||dryness – the quality of being dry||This medicine may cause dryness of the mouth.|
|silly||silliness – the quality of being silly||I’ve tolerated your silliness long enough.|
|blind||blindness – the quality of being blind||Drinking wood alcohol may cause blindness.|
|dark||darkness – the quality of being dark||Darkness is falling, we should get home.|
|aware||awareness – the quality of being aware||Airport security needs a high level of awareness to be good at their job.|
|ill||illness – the quality of being ill||I missed a lot of school because of illness last year.|
|fit||fitness – the quality of being fit||I’m strong but I’d like to improve my fitness.|
- Suffix ~ness example table image
- Suffix ~ness worksheet
- Suffix ~ness spelling note
- Suffix ~ness infographic
“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.