vis·​cous | \ ˈvi-skəs How to pronounce viscous (audio) \

Definition of viscous

1 : having a thick or sticky consistency : viscid viscous secretions viscous corn syrup
2 technical : having or characterized by a high resistance to flow viscous lava

Other Words from viscous

viscously adverb
viscousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for viscous



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Examples of viscous in a Sentence

viscous syrup that takes forever to pour from a narrow-neck bottle
Recent Examples on the Web At low tide, the oyster reefs are surrounded by viscous, sometimes thigh-high mud. Jack Tamisiea, Wired, 1 Jan. 2022 Thick layered, viscous quality with a pronounced palate weight. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 Lithium remains in a viscous yellow green pool, which SQM converts into powdery white lithium carbonate for battery makers abroad. New York Times, 28 Dec. 2021 Its surface, coated with foamy bubbles and viscous puddles, was littered with balloons, bread crusts, and Styrofoam food containers. Jenna Scatena, The Atlantic, 18 Dec. 2021 But Mary Jane would say of first loving her husband: plastic fork, cheesecake, viscous cherries. Kate Walbert, The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2021 The mouthfeel is almost viscous, with notes of blueberry jam, marzipan, maraschino cherry syrup and fudge coating your tongue. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 17 Dec. 2021 The problem, later discovered, was an actuator that had been serviced with oil that was too viscous. Shem Malmquist, Wired, 24 Apr. 2021 Brown heroin dominated the scene until the mid-1990s when black tar heroin arrived — inky, viscous and 70 percent pure. Alicia Inez Guzmán, Rolling Stone, 30 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'viscous.' 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 viscous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for viscous

Middle English viscouse, from Anglo-French viscos, from Late Latin viscosus full of birdlime, viscous, from Latin viscum mistletoe, birdlime; akin to Old High German wīhsila cherry, Greek ixos mistletoe

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Time Traveler for viscous

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The first known use of viscous was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

6 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Viscous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for viscous



English Language Learners Definition of viscous

: thick or sticky : not flowing easily


vis·​cous | \ ˈvis-kəs How to pronounce viscous (audio) \

Medical Definition of viscous

1 : having a glutinous consistency and the quality of sticking or adhering : viscid
2 : having or characterized by viscosity a viscous flow

More from Merriam-Webster on viscous

Nglish: Translation of viscous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of viscous for Arabic Speakers


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