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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

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 If the chemo didn't make Ensler nauseous, that comment certainly should have. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'In the Body of the World': Theater Review," 7 Feb. 2018 Patrick, 34, feeling morose and nauseous, lashed out. Katharine Q. Seelye Photographs By Todd Heisler, New York Times, "1 Son, 4 Overdoses, 6 Hours," 21 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.

See More

First Known Use of nauseous

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nauseous

see nausea

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nauseous

Dictionary Entries near nauseous








Statistics for nauseous

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nauseous

The first known use of nauseous was in 1612

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nauseous

What made you want to look up nauseous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!