Etymology
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sadness (n.)

early 14c., sadnesse, "seriousness," from sad + -ness. Meaning "sorrowfulness, dejection of mind" is by c. 1500, perhaps c. 1400, but throughout Middle English the word usually referred to "solidness, firmness, thickness, toughness; permanence, continuance; maturity; sanity."

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Definitions of sadness

sadness (n.)
emotions experienced when not in a state of well-being;
Synonyms: unhappiness
sadness (n.)
the state of being sad;
she tired of his perpetual sadness
Synonyms: sorrow / sorrowfulness
sadness (n.)
the quality of excessive mournfulness and uncheerfulness;
Synonyms: gloominess / lugubriousness
From wordnet.princeton.edu