from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Offensive to the point of arousing disgust; foul.
  • adjective Harmful or dangerous.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hurtful; mischievous; noxious: as, a noisome pestilence.
  • Offensive to sight or smell, especially to the latter; producing loathing or disgust; disgusting; specifically, ill-smelling.
  • Disagreeable, in a general sense; extremely offensive.
  • Synonyms Pernicious, etc. See noxious.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Noxious to health; hurtful; mischievous; unwholesome; insalubrious; destructive.
  • adjective Offensive to the smell or other senses; disgusting; fetid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Morally hurtful or noxious.
  • adjective Hurtful or noxious to health; unwholesome, insalubrious.
  • adjective Offensive to the senses; disgusting, unpleasant, nauseous; foul, fetid, especially having an undesirable smell; sickening, nauseating.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective offensively malodorous
  • adjective causing or able to cause nausea


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English noiesom : noie, harm (short for anoi, annoyance, from Old French, from anoier, to annoy; see annoy) + -som, adj. suff.; see -some1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English noy (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).


  • Madden disappeared and presently his "noisome" snores filled the air.

    Dear Carl

  • The fact clearly was that the wretched sewage of Washington, in those days, which was betrayed in all parts of the hotel by every kind of noisome odor, had at last begun to do its work.

    Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White, Volume I

  • The floor of the cellar was a kind of noisome cesspool: one slipped on the greasy mud -- floundered about in it: for all that, this cellar was almost entirely filled with cases of all kinds, with queer-looking bundles, with objects of various shapes and sizes.

    Messengers of Evil Being a Further Account of the Lures and Devices of Fantômas

  • With friends like the IRA and a disciplinary system that includes throwing snakes and tarantulas into the beds of women hostages, including Mlle Betancourt, who dared to try to escape, Farc represents the kind of noisome infestation that public benefactors such as General Pinochet used to sanitise so effectively.

    Telegraph Blogs

  • Like them, I'm delighted that Bobby Quinn remembers that the word "noisome" exists.

    Business and financial news -

  • In the late seventeenth century, however, park in English referred to a different kind of enclosure, one catering to humans who sought respite from the noisome distractions of city life.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Morrell told them what a noisome stews the place was, insulted the

    Chapter 20

  • I looked upon all these creatures as rank and noisome growths that must be hewn out of my path, out of the world.

    Chapter 11

  • With each noisome compartment entered, each scuffed door opened, my depression grew.

    2009 July « Official Harry Harrison News Blog

  • Hold on tight: But what could the Concord sage have known of the news off the boat when that boat was a keelboat or a broadhorn docking at the noisome slum of Natchez-under-the-Hill or New Orleans where some eighty years later a precocious Jelly Roll Morton was learning the street songs that would ultimately scorch the stately décor of the Library of Congress's Coolidge Chamber Music Auditorium when he recorded them for Alan Lomax?

    In Praise Of the Gross


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  • (adjective) - At present, offensive and moving disgust; but once, noxious and actually hurtful. Thus, a skunk would be noisome now, a tiger was noisome then. --Richard Chenevix Trench's Select Glossary, 1859

    April 22, 2018

  • "COMINIUS: I offer'd to awaken his regard

    For's private friends: his answer to me was,

    He could not stay to pick them in a pile

    Of noisome musty chaff..."

    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009

  • ADJECTIVE: Having an unpleasant odor: fetid, foul, foul-smelling, malodorous, mephitic, reeky, stinking. Informal: smelly.

    July 18, 2007