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

Frequently Asked Questions About nauseous

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 nauseous in a Sentence

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 Despite often being used interchangeably, nauseous means causing nausea, wheras nauseated means to feel sick. Reuven Perlman, The New Yorker, "Grammar Tips from a Thirty-Eight-Year-Old with an English Degree," 25 Feb. 2021 When the meeting was over, Sondrup felt shaky and slightly nauseous. Katie Johnston,, "It was the company her father started and she then led. Employees were like family. Now, she had to let them go.," 6 Feb. 2021 Out of it, sick all the time, getting pumped full of medicines to manage his pain but then getting nauseous from the medicines. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "Browns fan Tom Seipel, battling kidney cancer and in hospice, gets one ‘last-ditch party,’ thanks to his fellow fans and Emily Mayfield," 3 Jan. 2021 Hundreds of people responded with words including terrified, anxious, exhausted, nauseous, stressed, overwhelmed, panicked, paranoid, impatient, fretful, drained, discombobulated and drunk. Heather Knight,, "San Francisco voters, distressed and determined, might break turnout record set in 1944," 3 Nov. 2020 In the following days, her mom, who is 40, became increasingly exhausted and nauseous, and developed a high fever. Natalie Gontcharova,, "What It’s Really Like To Be Young, COVID-Affected & Unemployed In America," 30 Oct. 2020 While paddling back to the lineup after catching a wave on May 13, Lindsey was overcome with a nauseous and anxious aching. Sarah Feldberg, Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘My fear is the weight of everything’," 25 Oct. 2020 The whiplash of the NFL world can make one slightly nauseous. Ann Killion,, "49ers needed to change course in a hurry and did so in dominating fashion," 18 Oct. 2020 Some felt nauseous, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times. Eric Niiler, Wired, "The Most Sway-Prone Buildings in LA Aren’t Where You Expect," 9 Oct. 2020

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

Cite this Entry

“Nauseous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on nauseous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nauseous

Nglish: Translation of nauseous for Spanish Speakers

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