Ad nauseam…

What does it mean?


Ad nauseam is a fairly negative term. It is used to refer to something that has continued for a long time, to the point of making everybody feel slightly sick. It may or may not have been unpleasant in the beginning.


‘Ad nauseam’ is a Latin term which literally translates in English as ‘to sickness.’ It’s first recorded use was in 1647. A form of the phrase used previous to this was ‘usque ad nauseam’ which means ‘all the way to sickness.’ The ‘usque’ was later dropped.

Improper use

It is commonly misspelt ‘ad nauseum’ due to the way it sounds aloud. If there’s a linguist in your life who you really want to irritate, this is a very good way to do it.

Proper Use


It is used to express being really fed up with something that has gone on for a long time or been overdone. Examples of use in a sentence:

‘He’s told the same story over and over ad nauseam.’
‘They’ve argued about the same thing for days ad nauseam.’
‘She talked about her new car ad nauseam.’