One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The quality or condition of being present; the state of being in the presence of or in close proximity to a person or thing.
2The fact of existing now, currently, or at the time referred to; present existence or condition.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Palsgrave (d. 1554), teacher and scholar of languages. From present + -ness.
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