You can pronounce this word in one of two ways:

nau sea  or  nau se a

When a person experiences nausea, he or she is sick. There’s often a physical feeling that makes a person want to throw up or vomit.

  • Rachel experienced nausea during her pregnancy.
  • A side effect of this medicine is nausea.
  • If a passenger experiences nausea during a flight, the airline will provide a small bag that he or she can throw up in. This is also known as a "barf bag."

man sick on planeHe’s holding a barf bag.

The word "nauseate" is a verb:

  • Everyone was nauseated by the fumes from the machine. (This sentence is in the passive voice. You could also say "Everyone was made nauseous by…")
  • The couple’s public display of affection was nauseating everyone on the bus.
  • This situation nauseates me.

The words "nauseated," "nauseating," and "nauseous" are adjectives:

  • She feels nauseated.
  • She feels nauseous.
  • What’s that nauseating smell?
  • The fact that innocent people were killed in the conflict is nauseating.
  • Why does he feel so nauseous? What did he eat?

Note: The words "nauseated" and "nauseous" are technically different in English, but most Americans use them interchangeably. Personally, I don’t pay much attention to the small differences between these two words. I’d rather focus on more important things.

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The page was first published on November 14, 2013. It was updated on August 1, 2016.