: a stomach distress with distaste for food and an urge to vomit
experienced nausea during the cruise to Bermuda
: extreme disgust
looked at the murder scene with growing nausea
nauseant noun or adjective

Frequently Asked Questions

Is one nauseous or nauseated?

Some usage guides have held that there should be a strict distinction between nauseous and nauseated, with the first word meaning "causing nausea or disgust" and the second one meaning "affected with nausea." However, nauseous has been in widespread enough use for both of these senses that this distinction is now quite blurred. Nauseous may mean either "causing nausea" or "affected with nausea"; nauseated, on the other hand, is restricted in meaning to "affected with nausea; feeling disgust."

What is the verb for nauseous?

The verb form of nauseous is nauseate, meaning "to affect with nausea or disgust." It comes from the Latin word meaning "seasickness, nausea," which itself may be traced back to the Greek word for "sailor" (nautēs).

Is nausea a noun?

Nausea is a noun, meaning "a stomach distress with distaste for food and an urge to vomit" or "extreme disgust." A number of other nouns are closely related in meaning, including nauseant ("something that causes nausea"), nauseousness ("an instance of nausea"), and nauseatingness ("the quality or state of being nauseating").

Examples of nausea in a Sentence

Some people experience nausea when flying. A feeling of nausea suddenly came over me.
Recent Examples on the Web The rapid effects of fluctuating pregnancy hormones can trigger symptoms like intense nausea, heartburn, and vomiting, Kamilah Dixon, MD, a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. Tiffany Ayuda, SELF, 14 Feb. 2024 These effects could include dehydration, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, serious issues such as cardiac arrhythmias, soft tissue calcification (hardening), or even death. Ella Quittner, Health, 9 Feb. 2024 Symptoms that were reported included nose and eye irritation, coughing and wheezing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and feeling weak and tired. Roxana Saberi, CBS News, 6 Feb. 2024 More than 11,200 reviewers swear by these seasick patches that use a holistic herbal blend to fight nausea. Kelsey Glennon, Travel + Leisure, 5 Feb. 2024 Exposure to the gas can cause eye pain, sore throat, difficulty breathing, and blurred vision, along with dizziness, nausea, headache, convulsions, blisters, vomiting, and coughing. Korin Miller, Verywell Health, 2 Feb. 2024 The chemical caused some students to experience nausea and burning eyes, the groups said. Louis Casiano, Fox News, 23 Jan. 2024 In addition to causing dependence and addiction, opioids can also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, and even death due to respiratory depression. Claire Bugos, Verywell Health, 2 Feb. 2024 Vomiting and diarrhea from nausea can also exacerbate dehydration. Taayoo Murray, Essence, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nausea.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, seasickness, nausea, from Greek nautia, nausia, from nautēs sailor — more at nautical

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nausea was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near nausea

Cite this Entry

“Nausea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nausea. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a disturbed condition of the stomach in which one feels like vomiting
: extreme disgust

from Latin nausea "seasickness, the stomach upset that causes an urge to vomit," from Greek nausia, nautia (same meaning), literally "ship sickness," from naus "ship" — related to astronaut, nautical, noise see Word History at noise

Word Origin
The ancient Greeks were a seagoing people, so seasickness was not rare for them. Their word for seasickness, nausia or nautia, came from their word for ship, naus. But nautia or nausia also meant the worst symptom of seasickness, the stomach upset and urge to vomit. Nausea, as we call this feeling in English, can be caused by something other than the motion of a ship. The ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans, who spoke Latin, needed only one word for both seasickness and the upset in the stomach. The Romans borrowed the Greek word, spelling it nausea in Latin. English took the word directly from Latin.

Medical Definition


: a stomach distress with distaste for food and an urge to vomit

More from Merriam-Webster on nausea

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