[vis-kuh s]


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 formsvis·cous·ly, adverbvis·cous·ness, nounhy·per·vis·cous, adjectivepseu·do·vis·cous, adjective
Can be confusedvicious viscose viscous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for viscous




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

Word Origin and History for viscous

late 14c., from Anglo-French viscous, from Late Latin viscosus "sticky," from Latin viscum "anything sticky, birdlime made from mistletoe, mistletoe," probably from PIE root *weis- "to melt away, flow" (used of foul or malodorous fluids); see virus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for viscous




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



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.