the state or quality of being mean.
a mean act: to answer meannesses with forgiveness.

1550–60; mean2 + -ness Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mean2 (miːn)
1.  chiefly (Brit) miserly, ungenerous, or petty
2.  humble, obscure, or lowly: he rose from mean origins to high office
3.  despicable, ignoble, or callous: a mean action
4.  poor or shabby: mean clothing; a mean abode
5.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) bad-tempered; vicious
6.  informal ashamed: he felt mean about not letting the children go to the zoo
7.  informal chiefly (US) unwell; in low spirits
8.  slang excellent; skilful: he plays a mean trombone
9.  no mean
 a.  of high quality: no mean performer
 b.  difficult: no mean feat
[C12: from Old English gemǣne common; related to Old High German gimeini, Latin communis common, at first with no pejorative sense]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1550s, "weakness," from mean (adj.) + -ness. Sense of "baseness" is from 1650s; that of "stinginess" from 1755.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
There seems to be no interval between greatness and meanness.
But what really matters is not the stinginess, is not the meanness, but the
  tone of the whole thing.
If they forgive too much, all slides into confusion and meanness.
But, chained as he was in the meanness and smallness of it all, he was yet cast
  in a different mould.
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