From waste +‎ -ness.



wasteness (countable and uncountable, plural wastenesses)

  1. (obsolete) The state of being laid waste; desolation.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Zephaniah 1:15,[1]
      That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
  2. (now rare) The state of being uncultivated; wild, barren.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, Volume II, Chapter 11,[2]
      Under her rays, the ground over which we passed assumed a more interesting appearance than during the broad daylight, which discovered the extent of its wasteness.
    • 1856, John Ruskin, Modern Painters, Volume IV, Part V, “Of Mountain Beauty,” Chapter 1, Of the Turnerian Picturesque, Section 2,[3]
      [] I cannot find words to express the intense pleasure I have always in first finding myself, after some prolonged stay in England, at the foot of the old tower of Calais church. The large neglect, the noble unsightliness of it; the record of its years written so visibly, yet without sign of weakness or decay; its stern wasteness and gloom, eaten away by the Channel winds, and overgrown with the bitter sea grasses []
  3. (obsolete) A wilderness.