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Until yesterday I did not even know that the noun proudness exists. I always thought pride was the only possible noun for the adjective proud. Is there actually a difference between the two nouns (pride and proudness) or can they be used interchangeably in every case?

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, Mitch, tchrist, Hellion, RiMMER Dec 19 '12 at 1:07

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Have you googled (or search google books) for some examples of usage? It would help potential answers or even answer the question for you. – Daniel Harbour Dec 18 '12 at 18:33
This would be improved if you cited a dictionary to show that it does exist. The OED is subscription, so I can't link; but it gives the meanings 1. Pride, arrogance, haughtiness. †2. Proud show, splendour, magnificence. Obs. – TimLymington Dec 18 '12 at 18:34
Don't use the longer word. If it ever was an acceptable word, it is obsolete now, and anybody reading it would think you made a mistake and meant 'pride'. Just use 'pride'. – Mitch Dec 18 '12 at 18:56
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here's what the OED says:

proudness Now rare. [f. proud a. + -ness. ] The quality of being proud; pride.

  1. Lofty self-esteem, arrogance, haughtiness.

    • 1500-20 Dunbar Poems ix. 116, I synnit..In he exaltit arrogance and folye, Prowdnes, derisioun, scorne and vilipentioun.
    • 1552 Latimer Serm. Gospels iv. 173 He fell..in suche a hatred and proudenes agaynst God.
    • 1588 A. King tr. Canisius' Catech. K j, Thair proudnes is intolerable.
    • 1860 Pusey Min. Proph. 465 Isaiah accumulates words, to express the haughtiness of Moab..as if we were to say `pride, prideful, proudness, pridefulness'.
    • 1902 E. H. Cooper 20th Century Child xii. (1905) 231 They [crabs] should be kept in a bucket for a week, said a small child firmly, `to calm down their proudness'.
  2. Proud show, splendour, magnificence.

    • 1606 Warner Alb. Eng. xvi. ci. 401 Nature wrongd by Arte, of Prowdnes more than need.

As can be seen, the most recent cited use (not mention) of proudness by an adult was in 1606 and was spelled Prowdnes. The OED says it's "now rare".

But what you say or write is up to you, as always.

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There is another definition of proud which means to stick out or to be raised. "The saw cut left the wood proud of the surface by a sixteenth of an inch." I'd use proudness in describing that quality rather than pride. Of course I'd probably rewrite the sentence to avoid it altogether... – Jim Dec 19 '12 at 3:14

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