a suffix forming adjectives that have the general sense “possessing, full of” a given quality (covetous; glorious; nervous; wondrous); -ous and its variant -ious have often been used to Anglicize Latin adjectives with terminations that cannot be directly adapted into English (atrocious; contiguous; garrulous; obvious; stupendous). As an adjective-forming suffix of neutral value, it regularly Anglicizes Greek and Latin adjectives derived without suffix from nouns and verbs; many such formations are productive combining forms in English, sometimes with a corresponding nominal combining form that has no suffix;Compare -fer, -ferous; -phore, -phorous; -pter, -pterous; -vore, -vorous.
a suffix forming adjectival correspondents to the names of chemical elements; specialized, in opposition to like adjectives ending in -ic, to mean the lower of two possible valences (stannous chloride, SnCl2, and stannic chloride SnCl4).
IS YOUR DESERT PLANT KNOWLEDGE SUCCULENT OR DRIED UP?
Cactus aficionados, don't get left in the dust with this quiz on desert plants. Find out if you have the knowledge to survive this prickly foray into the desert!
Question 1 of 7
This tall, horizontally branched cactus is probably the most recognizable cactus in Arizona. What is it called?
Origin of -ous
Middle English <Anglo-French, Old French <Latin -ōsus; a doublet of -ose1
Words nearby -ous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for -ous
suffix forming adjectives
having, full of, or characterized bydangerous; spacious; languorous
(in chemistry) indicating that an element is chemically combined in the lower of two possible valency statesferrous; stannous Compare -ic (def. 2)
Word Origin for -ous
from Old French, from Latin -ōsus or -us, Greek -os, adj suffixes
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
Medical definitions for -ous
Possessing; full of; characterized by:filamentous.
Having a valence lower than that of a specified element in compounds or ions named with adjectives ending in -ic:ferrous.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.