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innocuous

Something that's innocuous isn't harmful or likely to cause injury. Public figures like mayors and governors have to expect they'll get critical or even hurtful emails and phone calls, as well as more innocuous feedback.

The adjective innocuous is useful when you're talking about something that doesn't offend or injure anyone. Innocuous remarks or comments are meant kindly, and innocuous germs won't make you sick. An innocuous question is innocently curious, rather than aimed to hurt someone's feelings. The word comes from the Latin roots in-, "not," and nocere, "to injure or harm."

Definitions of innocuous
  1. adjective
    not injurious to physical or mental health
    Synonyms:
    harmless
    not causing or capable of causing harm
    innoxious
    having no adverse effect
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    Antonyms:
    noxious
    injurious to physical or mental health
    harmful
    causing or capable of causing harm
    baneful, deadly, pernicious, pestilent
    exceedingly harmful
    corrupting, degrading
    harmful to the mind or morals
    vesicant, vesicatory
    causing blisters
    toxic
    of or relating to or caused by a toxin or poison
    unwholesome
    detrimental to physical or moral well-being
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    lacking intent or capacity to injure
    synonyms: innocent
    harmless
    not causing or capable of causing harm
  3. adjective
    not causing disapproval
    “it was an innocuous remark”
    “confined himself to innocuous generalities”
    synonyms: anodyne, unobjectionable
    inoffensive
    giving no offense
Word Family
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