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Word of the Day
Tuesday, August 17, 1999

Definitions for innocuous

  1. Harmless; producing no ill effect.
  2. Not likely to offend or provoke; as, "an innocuous remark."

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Citations for innocuous
Furthermore, the public, not knowing how to interpret certain facts and figures, may end up unfairly vilifying a company that uses only innocuous traces of a certain toxic chemical. , The Atlantic
Maybe Grandpop misunderstood that perfectly innocuous remark and thought the man said "smell." Anyway his temper crackled and exploded. John McCabe, Cagney
Origin of innocuous
Innocuous is from Latin innocuus, from in-, "not" + nocuus, "harmful," from nocere, "to harm." It is related to innocent, formed from in- + nocens, nocent-, "harming, injurious, hence criminal, guilty," from the present participle of nocere. Less common is the opposite of innocuous, nocuous.