Squeam"ish (?), a. [OE. squaimous, sweymous, probably from OE. sweem, swem, dizziness, a swimming in the head; cf. Icel. svemr a bustle, a stir, Norw. sveim a hovering about, a sickness that comes upon one, Icel. svimi a giddiness, AS. swimi. The word has been perhaps confused witrh qualmish. Cf. Swim to be dizzy.]

Having a stomach that is easily or nauseated; hence, nice to excess in taste; fastidious; easily disgusted; apt to be offended at trifling improprieties.

Quoth he, that honor's very squeamish That takes a basting for a blemish. Hudibras.

His muse is rustic, and perhaps too plain The men of squeamish taste to entertain. Southern.

So ye grow squeamish, Gods, and sniff at heaven. M. Arnold.

Syn. -- Fastidious; dainty; overnice; scrupulous. See Fastidious.

-- Squeam"ish*ly, adv. -- Squeam"ish*ness, n.


© Webster 1913.