Difference Between Nauseated and Nauseous (With Table)

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The English language is often confusing with its confusing spellings and similar pronunciation. Two very similar words bearing similar meanings do not fit well in alternative situations. In a similar way, both nauseated and nauseous signify the ‘sick feeling’. Both means feeling unwell or sick. In a casual situation, you can use them as alternatives to each other, but in any formal business pursuit, one must know the correct use of each word.

Nauseated vs Nauseous

The difference between nauseated and nauseous is that nauseated functions as the verb in a sentence, whereas nauseous functions as an adjective in any sentence. One becomes nauseated when he or she feels nausea coming. But nauseous is when a person gets affected by nausea and suffers from it. A person feels nauseous and gets nauseated. Both the words are a form of different parts of speech of the noun nausea.

Nauseated is a feeling of experiencing nausea. It is classified as a verb form that comes from nausea. It defines the work of nouns or pronouns. For instance, we can look at – ‘I am feeling nauseated’. Nauseated has another common usage to depict someone who feels disgusted due to another person or thing. Nauseated is the verb form of nausea. It is the participle form of the main word.

We often use nauseous to signify something that causes nausea. For instance, we can use this sentence – ‘ this smell makes me nauseous. It is an adjective form of the word. Nausea is the noun form of the word. It is the feel in the stomach. People get ‘nauseous’ due to many reasons. It is a sensation in the stomach. Morning sickness, motion sickness, these are forms of nauseous.

Comparison Table Between Nauseated and Nauseous

Parameters of ComparisonNauseatedNauseous
Meaning It signifies someone who is feeling or experiencing nausea.It means that a person is subjected to suffering nausea.
Parts of speechIt is a verb.It is an adjective.
Type of meaningIt retains a figurative meaning.It retains a literal meaning.
TermIn other words, it will mean sicken.In another word, this will mean sickening.
ExampleHe feels nauseated after drinking the syrup.This place is nauseous.

What is Nauseated?

Nauseated is when you become affected by the consequence of nausea. It also signifies the feeling of disgust. To nauseated is the verb form of a sentence. This word comes from nausea which is a noun form, and by adding “ted”, it becomes a participle and gets used as a verb in any sentence. There are many times and causes that might make you feel nauseated.

In case you are feeling sick to the stomach, then you can use the word to describe your feelings. For instance, you can say – ‘I am feeling nauseated this morning ‘. It shows your sickness, and other people will know that you are getting an uneasy feeling and you are not at comfort.

What is Nauseous?

Nauseous has its root in the word nausea that is an uneasiness and discomfort that a person experience due to motion sickness. It is a vomiting feeling. For a better understanding, a synonym of the word might help the cause. Nauseated is not an ideal substitute for the word. Nauseating is a better-suited synonym. Nauseous works as an adjective word in a sentence. People often make the common mistake of using the word ‘nauseousness’ as the noun form of the word. The correct noun form of nauseous is nausea. Nauseous is a feeling that you get before vomiting.

When things are nauseous, it is meant that those things are the cause of nausea to people. Garbage dump, rotten odour these things can be described as nauseous as they cause nausea or vomiting feeling to people. Anything that makes you sick, which is sickening, is nauseous.

Main Differences Between Nauseated and Nauseous

  1. Nauseated signifies someone who is feeling or experiencing nausea. In contrast, nauseous means that a person is subjected to suffering nausea due to some reason.
  2. Nauseated is classified as the verb from the family of parts of speech. On the other hand, nauseous is designed to work as an adjective.
  3. Nauseated has been taken to have a figurative meaning, but nauseous carries a literal meaning.
  4. To nauseate is nauseated and to be the cause of nausea is nauseous.
  5. An example of the word nauseated is – ‘milk nauseated her’, and an example of nauseous is – The fragrance is nauseous’.


The conclusion is not uncommon at all to get mixed up between two or more similar words. We often face that, and sometimes it becomes so common that the correct grammar rules no longer remain valid. Popular culture often does that to a language, and the two words of our discussion, ‘nauseated’ and ‘nauseous’, are subjected to such popular culture effect that has twisted their meaning and usages and, to some extent, has made them synonymous with each other. However, this was not the case previously.

If we consider the two words on the basis of strict grammar, then nauseated and nauseous are two different words that should not get mixed up. Nauseous is something that gives rise to the feeling of sickness. On the other hand, nauseating means feeling sick. But throughout history, the words have developed the reversed meaning of each other.

It has been embedded so deep that even some dictionaries have combined both the meanings and thus portray them as two interchangeable terms. Though it is not recommended to use the two words synonymously, one can use them interchangeably casually. In a formal atmosphere, the correct use of the two words should be taken into consideration for a better impression of the professional self.


  1. https://associationofanaesthetists-publications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2044.1997.117-az0113.x
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/10382187
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