[naw-shuhs, -zee-uhs]


affected with nausea; nauseated: to feel nauseous.
causing nausea; sickening; nauseating.
disgusting; loathsome: a nauseous display of greed.

Nearby words

  1. nauseam,
  2. nauseant,
  3. nauseate,
  4. nauseated,
  5. nauseating,
  6. nauseously,
  7. nausicaä,
  8. naut.,
  9. nautch,
  10. nautes

Origin of nauseous

From the Latin word nauseōsus, dating back to 1595–1605. See nausea, -ous

Related formsnau·seous·ly, adverbnau·seous·ness, noun

Can be confusednauseated nauseous (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

The two literal senses of nauseous, “causing nausea” ( a nauseous smell ) and “affected with nausea” ( to feel nauseous ), appear in English at almost the same time in the early 17th century, and both senses are in standard use at the present time. Nauseous is more common than nauseated in the sense “affected with nausea,” despite recent objections by those who imagine the sense to be new. In the sense “causing nausea,” either literally or figuratively, nauseating has become more common than nauseous : a nauseating smell. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nauseous

British Dictionary definitions for nauseous



feeling sick
causing nausea
distasteful to the mind or senses; repulsive
Derived Formsnauseously, adverbnauseousness, noun

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 nauseous



c.1600, "inclined to nausea, easily made queasy" (obsolete), from nausea + -ous. Sense of "causing nausea or squeamishness" is attested from 1610s. For distinction from nauseated see nauseate. Related: Nauseously; nauseousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for nauseous


[nôshəs, -zē-əs]


Causing nausea.
Affected with nausea.
Related formsnauseous•ly adv.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.