[ vis-kuh s ]
/ ˈvɪs kəs /


of a glutinous nature or consistency; sticky; thick; adhesive.
having the property of viscosity.
Also viscose.

Origin of viscous

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin viscōsus, equivalent to Latin visc(um) mistletoe, birdlime (made with mistletoe berries) + -ōsus -ous

Related forms

vis·cous·ly, adverbvis·cous·ness, nounhy·per·vis·cous, adjectivepseu·do·vis·cous, adjective

Can be confused

vicious viscose viscous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for viscous

British Dictionary definitions for viscous



/ (ˈvɪskəs) /


(of liquids) thick and sticky; viscid
having or involving viscosity

Derived Forms

viscously, adverbviscousness, noun

Word Origin for viscous

C14: from Late Latin viscōsus; see viscose
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

Medicine definitions for viscous


[ vĭskəs ]


Having relatively high resistance to flow.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for viscous


[ vĭskəs ]

Having relatively high resistance to flow (high viscosity).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.