[ ih-nok-yoo-uh s ]
/ ɪˈnɒk yu əs /


not harmful or injurious; harmless: an innocuous home remedy.
not likely to irritate or offend; inoffensive; an innocuous remark.
not interesting, stimulating, or significant; pallid; insipid: an innocuous novel.

Nearby words

  1. innocent xii,
  2. innocent xiii,
  3. innocently,
  4. innocents' day,
  5. innocents, massacre or slaughter of the,
  6. innominate,
  7. innominate artery,
  8. innominate bone,
  9. innominate cartilage,
  10. innominate vein

Origin of innocuous

From the Latin word innocuus, dating back to 1590–1600. See in-3, nocuous

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for innocuousness

British Dictionary definitions for innocuousness


/ (ɪˈnɒkjʊəs) /


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

Medicine definitions for innocuousness


[ ĭ-nŏkyōō-əs ]


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.