[ naw-shuhs, -zee-uhs ]
/ ˈnɔ ʃəs, -zi əs /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: nauseous / nauseousness on Thesaurus.com


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



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of nauseous

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin nauseōsus; see nausea, -ous
The two literal senses of nauseous, “affected with nausea” ( to feel nauseous ) and “causing nausea” ( a nauseous smell ), 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.
nau·seous·ly, adverbnau·seous·ness, noun
nauseated, nauseous (see confusables note at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for nauseous

/ (ˈnɔːzɪəs, -sɪ-) /


feeling sick
causing nausea
distasteful to the mind or senses; repulsive
nauseously, 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

Medical definitions for nauseous

[ nôshəs, -zē-əs ]


Causing nausea.
Affected with nausea.
nauseous•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
What's This Word?