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From Latin innocuus (harmless).



innocuous (comparative more innocuous, superlative most innocuous)

  1. Harmless; producing no ill effect.
    • 1892, Robert Louis Stevenson, A Footnote to History, ch. 9:
      The shells fell for the most part innocuous; an eyewitness saw children at play beside the flaming houses; not a soul was injured.
    • 1910, Bram Stoker, The Lair of the White Worm, ch. 11:
      Other things, too, there were, not less deadly though seemingly innocuous—dried fungi, traps intended for birds, beasts, fishes, reptiles, and insects.
    • 2011 September 2, “Wales 2-1 Montenegro”, in BBC[1]:
      As the half closed Bale and Ledley both went close with good efforts, but Bellamy picked up a yellow card for an innocuous challenge that also rules the new Liverpool man out of the trip to Wembley.
  2. Inoffensive; unprovocative; not exceptional.
    • 1893, Gilbert Parker, Mrs. Falchion, ch. 12:
      Ruth Devlin announced that the song must wait, though it appeared to be innocuous and child-like in its sentiments.
    • 1910, P. G. Wodehouse, The Intrusion of Jimmy, ch. 28:
      He sat down, and lighted a cigarette, casting about the while for an innocuous topic of conversation.



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