[ naw-zee-ey-ting, -zhee-, -see-, -shee- ]
/ ˈnɔ ziˌeɪ tɪŋ, -ʒi-, -si-, -ʃi- /
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causing sickness of the stomach; nauseous.
such as to cause contempt, disgust, loathing, etc.: I had to listen to the whole nauseating story.
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Origin of nauseating

First recorded in 1635–45; nauseat(e) + -ing2

words often confused with nauseating

See nauseous.


nau·se·at·ing·ly, adverbun·nau·se·at·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does nauseating mean?

Nauseating means causing nausea—a feeling of sickness in your stomach, as if you might vomit.

Nauseating is commonly used as an adjective, but it can also be used as the continuous tense (-ing form) of the verb nauseate, meaning to cause nausea, as in That smell is nauseating me.  

The adjective nauseous can be used to mean the same thing as nauseating, but nauseous is much more commonly used to mean the same thing as nauseated—feeling nausea.

The word nausea can also be used in a figurative way meaning a feeling of disgust, revulsion, or repulsion, and nauseating can describe someone or something that makes a person feel this, meaning the same thing as disgusting, as in Their cruelty is nauseating. 

The word nauseant can also mean causing or producing nausea, but it is not commonly used other than in a medical context.

Example: I’m not sure what was more nauseating—the disgusting food or the server’s disgusting comments.

Where does nauseating come from?

The first records of the adjective nauseating come from the 1600s. It is thought to ultimately derive from the Greek nausíā, meaning “seasickness,” from naûs, meaning “ship” (the same root is the basis of the word nautical).

Seasickness can be nauseating, as can many other conditions that affect the stomach, such as motion sickness, morning sickness, carsickness, anxiety, or from the side effects of medications. The figurative use of nauseating is perhaps even more common. It’s used to describe people or things that are considered truly disgusting or contemptible, especially by being immoral in some way.

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What are some other forms related to nauseating?

What are some synonyms for nauseating?

What are some words that share a root or word element with nauseating

What are some words that often get used in discussing nauseating?

How is nauseating used in real life?

Nauseating is perhaps most commonly used in a figurative way.


Try using nauseating!

Which of the following words can be used as a synonym of nauseating?

A. sickening
B. disgusting
C. repulsive
D. all of the above

How to use nauseating in a sentence