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[naw-shuh s, -zee-uh s] /ˈnɔ ʃəs, -zi əs/
affected with nausea; nauseated:
to feel nauseous.
causing nausea; sickening; nauseating.
disgusting; loathsome:
a nauseous display of greed.
Origin of nauseous
1595-1605; < Latin nauseōsus. See nausea, -ous
Related forms
nauseously, adverb
nauseousness, noun
Can be confused
nauseated, nauseous (see usage note at the current entry)
3. revolting, nasty, repellent, abhorrent, detestable, despicable, offensive.
3. delightful.
Usage note
The two literal senses of nauseous, “causing nausea” (a nauseous smell) and “affected with nausea” (to feel nauseous), appear in English at almost the same time in the early 17th century, and both senses are in standard use at the present time. Nauseous is more common than nauseated in the sense “affected with nausea,” despite recent objections by those who imagine the sense to be new. In the sense “causing nausea,” either literally or figuratively, nauseating has become more common than nauseous: a nauseating smell. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nauseous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The house was overheated, and the close, nauseous air made her sick.

  • Never was female friendship more strongly cemented, or less disturbed by the nauseous poison of envy, malice, or mean jealousy.

    The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe
  • The nauseous air that had filtered through from that room spoke eloquently of sealed windows and stopped crevices.

    The Uttermost Farthing R. Austin Freeman
  • We eagerly quenched our thirst, in spite of the nauseous taste of the water.

    In the Wilds of Florida W.H.G. Kingston
  • But, as I told you before, the physic to me was not nearly so nauseous as the sugar.

    The Kellys and the O'Kellys Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for nauseous


/ˈnɔːzɪəs; -sɪ-/
feeling sick
causing nausea
distasteful to the mind or senses; repulsive
Derived Forms
nauseously, adverb
nauseousness, noun
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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Word Origin and History for nauseous

c.1600, "inclined to nausea, easily made queasy" (obsolete), from nausea + -ous. Sense of "causing nausea or squeamishness" is attested from 1610s. For distinction from nauseated see nauseate. Related: Nauseously; nauseousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nauseous in Medicine

nauseous nau·seous (nô'shəs, -zē-əs)

  1. Causing nausea.

  2. Affected with nausea.

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