noc·​u·​ous | \ ˈnä-kyə-wəs How to pronounce nocuous (audio) \

Definition of nocuous

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Other Words from nocuous

nocuously adverb

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You are probably more familiar with the adjective innocuous, meaning "harmless," than with its antonymous relative "nocuous." Both "nocuous" and "innocuous" have immediate Latin predecessors: nocuus and "innocuus." (The latter combines "nocuus" with the negative prefix in-.) Both words can also be traced back to the Latin verb nocēre, meaning "to harm." Other "nocēre" descendants in English include "innocent" and "nocent," which means "harmful." "Nuisance" (which originally meant, and still can mean, "a harm or injury") is a more distant relative. "Nocuous" is one of the less common "nocēre" descendants, but it does turn up occasionally.

Examples of nocuous in a Sentence

hand washing is one of the easiest ways to help prevent the spread of nocuous germs

First Known Use of nocuous

1627, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nocuous

Latin nocuus "harmful, noxious" (from nocēre "to injure, harm" + -uus, deverbal adjective suffix) + -ous — more at noxious

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Time Traveler for nocuous

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The first known use of nocuous was in 1627

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Cite this Entry

“Nocuous.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for nocuous


noc·​u·​ous | \ ˈnäk-yə-wəs How to pronounce nocuous (audio) \

Medical Definition of nocuous

: likely to cause injury a nocuous stimulus

More from Merriam-Webster on nocuous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nocuous

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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