nau·​seous | \ ˈnȯ-shəs How to pronounce nauseous (audio) , ˈnȯ-zē-əs How to pronounce nauseous (audio) \

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 In these attack-like episodes, Lila becomes nauseous, Ferrante writes. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "An Experiment in Reading Elena Ferrante," 16 Jan. 2020 Less exhausted, less nauseous, less dizzy and less headachy. Kyle Beechey, Bon Appétit, "I Tried Those New, Flashy Hangover Cures to See If They Worked," 25 Oct. 2019 Everyone knew cancer patients might lose their hair, or become nauseous or exhausted., "As his Alzheimer’s looms, Charles and Pam Ogletree take one last walk in love - The Boston Globe," 27 Oct. 2019 The water of the Rio Branco, the river that runs past the community, was a nauseous pale yellow. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rain Forest," 4 Nov. 2019 In addition, diverticulitis can cause individuals to feel nauseous and experience severe abdominal pain alongside a fever and/or an obvious change in bowel patterns. Nicole Skrobin,, "The role medical cannabis plays in treating diverticulitis," 10 Sep. 2019 Freeman immediately checked on Realmuto, who stayed in the game but exited an inning later, feeling nauseous. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "J.T. Realmuto emerges as rock among Phillies' stars: 'His toughness is already legendary'," 19 June 2019 Children at Isbell Elementary School got headaches, sore throats and began to feel nauseous, forcing the Frisco school to be evacuated. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Frisco officials, residents go after asphalt plant with complaint history, urge state not to renew permit," 3 July 2019 Shortly after, a firefighter began to feel nauseous and lightheaded, Hook said. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "Elderly couple and firefighter sent to hospital after car left running overnight," 16 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for nauseous

Time Traveler

The first known use of nauseous was in 1612

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Statistics for nauseous

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nauseous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for nauseous


How to pronounce nauseous (audio) How to pronounce nauseous (audio)

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 How to pronounce nauseous (audio) , ˈnȯ-zē-əs \

Kids Definition of nauseous

1 : suffering from nausea
2 : causing nausea a nauseous smell


nau·​seous | \ ˈnȯ-shəs How to pronounce nauseous (audio) , ˈnȯ-zē-əs How to pronounce nauseous (audio) \

Medical Definition of nauseous

1 : causing nausea
2 : affected with nausea

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More from Merriam-Webster on nauseous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nauseous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nauseous

Spanish Central: Translation of nauseous

Nglish: Translation of nauseous for Spanish Speakers

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