"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ih-nok-yoo-uh s] /ɪˈnɒk yu əs/
not harmful or injurious; harmless:
an innocuous home remedy.
not likely to irritate or offend; inoffensive; an innocuous remark.
not interesting, stimulating, or significant; pallid; insipid:
an innocuous novel.
Origin of innocuous
1590-1600; < Latin innocuus. See in-3, nocuous
Related forms
innocuously, adverb
innocuousness, innocuity
[in-uh-kyoo-i-tee] /ˌɪn əˈkyu ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
uninnocuous, adjective
uninnocuously, adverb
uninnocuousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for innocuous
  • Some seemingly innocuous foods can be lethal for dogs.
  • But yes, there is also a lot of innocuous grazing involved too.
  • Thank you for the completely innocuous essay you presented today.
  • It sounds innocuous enough to say that you're making this data more accessible.
  • From the article, it seems the compounds they're looking at are already available an innocuous.
  • Some product-makers found seemingly innocuous, legitimate uses for radium, uranium and other energy-emitting materials.
  • At best, they fade out of public life and are rendered innocuous.
  • No doubt numerous differences exist and some codes are innocuous.
  • But this spring the same skyline became crisp, often beneath blue skies and innocuous white clouds.
  • According to this interpretation, mirror therapy works by replacing noxious memories with innocuous ones.
British Dictionary definitions for innocuous


having little or no adverse or harmful effect; harmless
Derived Forms
innocuously, adverb
innocuousness, innocuity (ˌɪnəˈkjuːɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin innocuus harmless, from in-1 + nocēre to harm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for innocuous

unlikely to arouse strong feeling; insipid

Word Origin

Latin in- + nocere 'to injure''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for innocuous

1590s, from Latin innocuus "harmless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + nocuus "hurtful," from root of nocere "to injure, harm," from *nok-s-, suffixed form of PIE root *nek- "death" (see necro-). Related: Innocuously; innocuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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innocuous in Medicine

innocuous in·noc·u·ous (ĭ-nŏk'yōō-əs)
Having no adverse effect; harmless.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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