[ih-nok-yoo-uh s]
See more synonyms for innocuous on
  1. not harmful or injurious; harmless: an innocuous home remedy.
  2. not likely to irritate or offend; inoffensive; an innocuous remark.
  3. not interesting, stimulating, or significant; pallid; insipid: an innocuous novel.

Origin of innocuous

From the Latin word innocuus, dating back to 1590–1600. See in-3, nocuous
Related formsin·noc·u·ous·ly, adverbin·noc·u·ous·ness, in·no·cu·i·ty [in-uh-kyoo-i-tee] /ˌɪn əˈkyu ɪ ti/, nounun·in·noc·u·ous, adjectiveun·in·noc·u·ous·ly, adverbun·in·noc·u·ous·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for innocuousness

Historical Examples of innocuousness

British Dictionary definitions for innocuousness


  1. having little or no adverse or harmful effect; harmless
Derived Formsinnocuously, adverbinnocuousness or innocuity (ˌɪnəˈkjuːɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for innocuous

C16: from Latin innocuus harmless, from in- 1 + nocēre to harm
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 innocuousness



1590s, from Latin innocuus "harmless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + nocuus "hurtful," from root of nocere "to injure, harm," from *nok-s-, suffixed form of PIE root *nek- "death" (see necro-). Related: Innocuously; innocuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

innocuousness in Medicine


  1. Having no adverse effect; harmless.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.