Word of the Day

Monday, July 17, 2006

innocuous

\ih-NOK-yoo-uhs\ , adjective;
1.
Harmless; producing no ill effect.
2.
Not likely to offend or provoke; as, "an innocuous remark."
Quotes:
Furthermore, the public, not knowing how to interpret certain facts and figures, may end up unfairly vilifying a company that uses only innocuous traces of a certain toxic chemical.
-- "Can Selfishness Save the Environment?", The Atlantic, September 13, 2000
Maybe Grandpop misunderstood that perfectly innocuous remark and thought the man said "smell." Anyway his temper crackled and exploded.
-- John McCabe, Cagney
Anything that reeks beyond a city block is an invisible snarling dog with unknown intentions, even if, in the right context, the smell itself would be innocuous. Therefore, people complain.
-- Luca Turin, What You Can't Smell Will Kill You, New York Times, January 21, 2007
Origin:
Innocuous is from Latin innocuus, from in-, "not" + nocuus, "harmful," from nocere, "to harm." It is related to innocent, formed from in- + nocens, nocent-, "harming, injurious, hence criminal, guilty," from the present participle of nocere. Less common is the opposite of innocuous, nocuous.
POWERED BY 4INFO
Get Word of the Day
Free Email Sign Up
Other Delivery Options:
Mobile app
iGoogle
Mac
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help