What Does Ad Nauseam Mean?

Ad Nauseam Meaning

Definition: Repeated much too often; repeated to ridiculous excess.

Origin of Ad Nauseam

This expression comes from Latin, and it is translated literally to mean to [the point of] nausea.

Examples of Ad Nauseam

define ad nauseamThe dialogue below shows two university students. They are discussing whether or not Star Trek is better than Star Wars.

Nisha: Look. You and I are just never going to agree on this.

Alan: I really think it is impossible for you not to agree with me about this. If I could just get you to watch the movies one more time–

Nisha: Listen, I apologize for interrupting you, but, honestly, we’ve discussed this ad-nauseam. There’s nothing left to say. I’ll always prefer Star Trek, and you’ll always prefer Star Wars. End of discussion.

Alan: Okay. Fine. But did you ever consider the special effects?

Nisha: Stop!

meaning of ad nauseamThe second dialogue shows a father and son. The father is explaining how to perfect the pizza sauce for his restaurant.

Son: Okay, the sauce is done. Let’s move on to toppings.

Dad: You’re not ready for the toppings yet. I just tasted your sauce, and it tastes like garbage! Let’s go over the ingredients and the process again.

Son: Please don’t make me listen to everything again. You’ve told me 100 times. If I can’t get it now, listening to it again won’t help.

Dad: Then we’ll start making the sauce over from scratch.

Son: No, we’ve been doing this ad-nauseam!

Dad: Practice makes perfect. Make the sauce again! I’ll throw this batch into the dumpster for the raccoons and other vermin to eat.

More Examples

The article excerpt below is about the effects of an election on the stock market.

  • In the ensuing days after the election, this volatility may continue as the results of the election are interpreted and analyzed ad nauseum. –New York Daily News

This excerpt is from an opinion column. The author believes that inspectors examine the Veterans Administration too often, yet nothing ever happens.

  • The law says VA suicide-prevention programs will get outside evaluations. So what? The VA has been inspected ad nauseum by the General Accountability Office, Inspectors General and other auditors. –New York Post

Summary

The phrase ad-nauseam describes something that is done to a sickening degree, or to a disgusting extent.

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