Skip to main content


-eous suffix of adjs. the majority of which are formed on L. adjs. in -eus ( = Gr. -eos); these are based on sbs. denoting material things and usu. have the sense ‘composed of’, as well as that of ‘of the nature of, resembling’, while the Eng. derivs. have the latter meaning only; exx. are erroneous, igneous, ligneous, vitreous, and (from scholL.) heterogeneous, homogeneous. In adoptions of F. adjs. in -eux based on sbs. in -age the suffix took this form, as in advantageous, courageous, outrageous; in hideous and piteous, -eous has replaced -ous; aqueous is isolated; in bounteous, courteous, gorgeous, plenteous, righteous other endings have been assim. to -eous; in beauteous and duteous the ending has arisen from the addition of -OUS to -te, early form of -TY2. See also -ACEOUS.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"-eous." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . 22 Jan. 2019 <>.

"-eous." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . (January 22, 2019).

"-eous." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved January 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.