Professional Style

Nauseous vs. Nauseated

July 2009
Spot the Error

It surprised everyone that Max became nauseous after riding the children’s carousel, especially considering he rode the Giant Corkscrew roller coaster earlier in the day without becoming the least bit sick.

Nauseous is frequently used for nauseated, but they are not interchangeable. Nauseous means causing sickness. For example, the acrid smell of heated roofing tar can be nauseous. The sight of squirming mealworms in your bowl of raisin bran can be nauseous. But people are seldom nauseous … unless there’s something about them that makes other people sick … such as knockout dragon breath.

If a person is afflicted with an upset stomach (as in the “carousel” sentence above), then he or she is nauseated.

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