nau·​seous | \ˈnȯ-shəs, ˈnȯ-zē-əs \

Definition of nauseous 

1 : causing nausea or disgust : nauseating the nauseous smell of rotting garbage

2 : affected with nausea or disgust When the medication makes her tired and nauseous, she works at home instead of going to the office.— Jane E. Brody

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Other Words from nauseous

nauseously adverb
nauseousness noun

Nauseous vs. Nauseated: Usage Guide

Those who insist that nauseous can properly be used only to mean "causing nausea" and that its later "affected with nausea" meaning is an error for nauseated are mistaken. Current evidence shows these facts: nauseous is most frequently used to mean physically affected with nausea, usually after a linking verb such as feel or become; figurative use is quite a bit less frequent. Use of nauseous to mean "causing nausea or disgust" is much more often figurative than literal, and this use appears to be losing ground to nauseating. Nauseated is used more widely than nauseous when referring to being affected with nausea.

Examples of nauseous in a Sentence

Instead what they do is all sit together and feel really bad, and pray. Nobody does anything as nauseous as try to make everybody all pray together or pray aloud or anything, but you can tell what they're doing. — David Foster Wallace, Rolling Stone, 25 Oct. 2001 She looked slightly nauseous, as though she had just watched someone being sick. However, when she drew out her wand and pointed it at Barty Crouch, her hand was quite steady. — J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000 She unleashed, too, an olfactory effect of such nauseous potency as to make him gag and retch. — Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, 1989 Personally, I think that writing must be a bit like pregnancy: It begins with a microscopic idea that with time grows and takes shape and comes alive. And often, when I get up in the morning and look at what I wrote the night before, sure enough—I become nauseous. — Mike Nichols, Life and other ways to kill time, 1988 Ermyn didn't take sugar, but she sipped the nauseous solution bravely, incapable of rebuffing a kindness. — Alice Thomas Ellis, The Sin Eater, 1977 The smell of gasoline makes me nauseous. I began to feel nauseous.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The yelling would pierce their ears as a nauseous knot sat in the pit of their stomachs. Erika Andersen, Good Housekeeping, "The Only Reason My Husband Survived Abuse and Poverty As a Child: His Faith in God," 26 June 2018 The throbbing, nauseous headaches that used to shut down his life for days at a time just stop. Paul Sisson,, "San Diego man says new migraine drug has ended his pain," 4 June 2018 Logan became lethargic and nauseous, and his rash had spread. Dan Wine,, "Florida boy's frightening brush with venomous caterpillar lands him in ER," 20 June 2018 Today, normal food often leaves me nauseous and bloated. Bridget Malcolm, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bridget Malcolm Wants You to Know How Hard Models Work for Their Lean Bodies," 20 June 2018 The resident became dizzy and nauseous, exhibited a slower-than-normal heart rate and had low blood pressure as results, according to the citation., "Six Nursing Homes Fined Following Lapses In Care," 13 June 2018 The three-hour drive from Boulder has left me a little nauseous and grumpy. Cedar Wright, Outside Online, ""Give Your Sprinter to a Real Dirtbag!"," 9 Apr. 2018 Hydration can also be problematic when a patient is nauseous or vomiting. Emil Rubin, Rd,, "What is gastroparesis and how can it be treated?," 16 Feb. 2018 After feeling nauseous for some time, Kardashian, 33, took a pregnancy test. Aurelie Corinthios,, "Khloé Kardashian Admits the KUWTK Crew Knew About Her Pregnancy Before Her Family," 5 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nauseous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nauseous

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nauseous

see nausea

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Statistics for nauseous

Last Updated

30 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nauseous

The first known use of nauseous was in 1612

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More Definitions for nauseous



English Language Learners Definition of nauseous

: feeling like you are about to vomit

: causing you to feel like you are going to vomit

: causing disgust


nau·​seous | \ˈnȯ-shəs, ˈnȯ-zē-əs\

Kids Definition of nauseous

1 : suffering from nausea

2 : causing nausea a nauseous smell


nau·​seous | \ˈnȯ-shəs, ˈnȯ-zē-əs \

Medical Definition of nauseous 

1 : causing nausea

2 : affected with nausea

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More from Merriam-Webster on nauseous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nauseous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nauseous

Spanish Central: Translation of nauseous

Nglish: Translation of nauseous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nauseous

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to enclose within walls

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