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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English noysom; equivalent to noy +‎ -some (short for annoy, from an(n)oien, enoien from Anglo-Norman anuier, from Old French enuier (French ennuyer), from Late Latin inodiare (to make hateful), from in- (intensive prefix) + odium (hate)).[1]



noisome (comparative more noisome, superlative most noisome)

  1. (literary) Morally hurtful or noxious.
  2. (literary) Hurtful or noxious to health; unwholesome, insalubrious.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:harmful
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Psalms 91:3:
      Surely he shall deliuer thee from the snare of the fouler: and from the noisome pestilence.
    • 1912, Alexander Berkman, chapter 6, in Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist:
      There is a distinct sense of freedom in the solitude of the night. The day's atmosphere is surcharged with noisome anxiety, the hours laden with impending terrors. But the night is soothing.
  3. (literary) Offensive to the senses; disgusting, unpleasant, nauseous, especially having an undesirable smell.
    Synonyms: foul, fetid, sickening, nauseating
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i], page 120:
      Foule words is but foule wind, and foule wind is but foule breath, and foule breath is noiſome, therefore I will depart vnkist.
    • 1731, [Jonathan Swift], “Strephon and Chloe”, in A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed. [], Dublin, London: [] [William Bowyer] for J. Roberts [], published 1734, →OCLC, page 8:
      And then, ſo nice, and ſo genteel; / Such Cleanlineſs from Head to Heel: / No Humours groſs, or frowzy Steams, / No noiſom Whiffs, or ſweaty Streams, / Before, behind, above, below, / Could from her taintleſs Body flow.