• synonyms


[myoo-kuh s]
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  1. pertaining to, consisting of, or resembling mucus.
  2. containing or secreting mucus.
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Origin of mucous

1640–50; < Latin mūcōsus slimy, mucous, equivalent to mūc(us) snot (see mucus) + -ōsus -ous
Related formsmu·cos·i·ty [myoo-kos-i-tee] /myuˈkɒs ɪ ti/, nounnon·mu·cous, adjectivesub·mu·cous, adjective
Can be confusedmucous mucus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mucous


mucose (ˈmjuːkəʊs, -kəʊz)

  1. of, resembling, or secreting mucus
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Derived Formsmucosity (mjuːˈkɒsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin mūcōsus slimy, from mucus


The noun mucus is often misspelled mucous . Mucous can only be correctly used as an adjective
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 mucous


1640s (replacing mucilaginous), from Latin mucosus "slimy, mucous," from mucus (see mucus). Related: mucosity.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mucous in Medicine


  1. Containing, producing, or secreting mucus.
  2. Relating to, consisting of, or resembling mucus.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.