-ous

(redirected from -ousness)
Also found in: Medical.

-ous

suff.
1. Possessing; full of; characterized by: joyous.
2. Having a valence lower than that of a specified element in compounds or ions named with adjectives ending in -ic: ferrous.

[Middle English, from Old French -ous, -eus, -eux, from Latin -ōsus and -us, adj. suff.]

-ous

suffix forming adjectives
1. having, full of, or characterized by: dangerous; spacious; languorous.
2. (Chemistry) (in chemistry) indicating that an element is chemically combined in the lower of two possible valency states: ferrous; stannous. Compare -ic2
[from Old French, from Latin -ōsus or -us, Greek -os, adj suffixes]

-ous

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]