Also found in: Medical.
Having; having the qualities of; full of: bilious.
[Middle English, partly from Latin -ius and partly from Old French -ieus, -ieux (from Latin -iōsus).]
suffix forming adjectives
characterized by or full of: ambitious; religious; suspicious. Compare -eous
[from Latin -ius and -iōsus full of]
1. a suffix forming adjectives that have the general sense “possessing, full of” a given quality (covetous; glorious; nervous; wondrous); -ous and its variant -ious have often been used to Anglicize Latin adjectives with terminations that cannot be directly adapted into English (atrocious; contiguous; garrulous; obvious; stupendous). As an adjective-forming suffix of neutral value, it regularly Anglicizes Greek and Latin adjectives derived without suffix from nouns and verbs; many such formations are productive combining forms in English, sometimes with a corresponding nominal combining form that has no suffix; compare -fer, -ferous; -phore, -phorous.
2. a suffix forming adjectival correspondents to the names of chemical elements; specialized, in opposition to like adjectives ending in -ic, to mean the lower of two possible valences (stannous chloride, SnCl2, and stannic chloride, SnCl4).
[Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin -ōsus; a doublet of -ose1]