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innocuous

[ih-nok-yoo-uh s]
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adjective
  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.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for innocuousness

Historical Examples

  • Recent utterances about the innocuousness of Australian snake-poison find a fitting answer in this melancholy occurrence.

    On Snake-Poison: its Action and its Antidote

    A. Mueller

  • This is erroneous and is based upon the assumed inefficacy and innocuousness of judicial injunctions.

  • The adventure in the Scoop scared him for a while into innocuousness; then he resumed his game again with redoubled zest.

    Bob, Son of Battle

    Alfred Ollivant


British Dictionary definitions for innocuousness

innocuous

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

Word Origin

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

innocuous

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

innocuousness in Medicine

innocuous

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