Ad Nauseam / *Ad Nauseum | Meaning & Examples

Ad nauseam is an adverb meaning “to a sickening degree.”

It’s usually not used literally to refer to sickness or nausea but instead means that something is going on and on, or being repeated over and over, until it becomes annoying or boring (until you’re sick of it).

Examples: Ad nauseam in a sentence
The issue of gun control has been debated ad nauseam.

Steve talks about his boyfriend ad nauseam.

The teacher made her repeat the memory exercises ad nauseam.

Though people often misspell it “ad nauseum,” the only correct spelling is “ad nauseam.”

Ad nauseam is a term that comes from Latin, but it’s been used in English for hundreds of years, so you don’t need to italicize it as you would for a more recent loanword. This is also true for other Latin terms, such as mea culpa and vice versa.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a synonym of “ad nauseam”?

Ad nauseam is usually used to refer to something going on for too long. Some rough synonyms of ad nauseam are:

  • At great length
  • Excessively
  • Long-windedly
  • Repetitively
  • To a sickening degree

 

Is it “ad nauseam” or “ad nauseum”?

The correct spelling of the term meaning “to a sickening degree” is ad nauseam, with an “a.” The common misspelling “ad nauseum,” with a “u,” is never correct.

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Caulfield, J. (2023, August 23). Ad Nauseam / *Ad Nauseum | Meaning & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/definitions/ad-nauseam/

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes for Scribbr about his specialist topics: grammar, linguistics, citations, and plagiarism. In his spare time, he reads a lot of books.