• synonyms


[kair-ee-uh s]
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  1. having caries, as teeth; decayed.
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Origin of carious

1520–30; < Latin cariōsus decayed, rotten, equivalent to cari(ēs) caries + -ōsus -ous
Related formscar·i·os·i·ty [kair-ee-os-i-tee] /ˌkɛər iˈɒs ɪ ti/, car·i·ous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for carious

disagreeable, putrid, tainted, musty, smelly, moldy, stale, fetid, soured, polluted, contaminated, addled, ruined, rank, wasted, spoiled, perished, decomposed, riddled, rotted

Examples from the Web for carious

Historical Examples of carious

  • If one of the molars is found to be carious, it should be extracted.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • A carious smile, almost a pitying smile, was hovering on her lips.

    Verner's Pride

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • I healed malignant tubercular diphtheria and carious bones that could be dented in by the fingers.

  • I have seen nothing in these carious forms which does not reveal the mechanical action of these waters.

  • They exist in the mouth; those in carious teeth are often sufficient to injuriously affect digestion and health.

British Dictionary definitions for carious


cariose (ˈkɛərɪˌəʊz)

  1. (of teeth or bone) affected with caries; decayed
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Derived Formscariosity (ˌkærɪˈɒsɪtɪ, ˌkɛərɪ-) or cariousness, 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

Word Origin and History for carious


1670s, from French carieux (16c.), from Latin cariosus "full of decay," from caries "rottenness, decay" (see caries).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

carious in Medicine


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