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[noi-suh m] /ˈnɔɪ səm/
offensive or disgusting, as an odor.
harmful or injurious to health; noxious.
Origin of noisome
1350-1400; Middle English noy (aphetic variant of annoy) + -some1
Related forms
noisomely, adverb
noisomeness, noun
Can be confused
fulsome, noisome (see usage note at fulsome)
noisome, noisy.
1. fetid, putrid, rotten, stinking, mephitic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for noisome
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was as if I stood helpless while a noisome reptile coiled its folds around me.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • The atmosphere of the room seemed to become heavy and noisome.

    Uncanny Tales Various
  • That awful cry, Yvonne heard it as she was being dragged through the noisome crowd.

    Lord Tony's Wife Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • Already one of the most noisome of the plagues of Egypt was among us.

  • He said it with a deep breath, and an exhalation, as one who pants to be free of the city's noisome fumes.

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
  • They are "safe, because they are too filthy to handle, and too noisome even to approach."

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • But there is also another chapter to the dark history of this "noisome and grievous sore."

  • In that noisome lair of the bandits a horrible scene ensued.

    Messengers of Evil Pierre Souvestre
  • The man who is fed on “the bread of life” is endowed with powers of resistance against “the noisome pestilence.”

British Dictionary definitions for noisome


(esp of smells) offensive
harmful or noxious
Derived Forms
noisomely, adverb
noisomeness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from obsolete noy, variant of annoy + -some1
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 noisome

late 14c., "harmful, noxious," from noye "harm, misfortune," shortened form of anoi "annoyance" (from Old French anoier, see annoy) + -some (1). Meaning "bad-smelling" first recorded 1570s. Related: Noisomeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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