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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 -ous suff.
 1. An adjective suffix meaning full of, abounding in, having, possessing the qualities of, like; as in gracious, abounding in grace; arduous, full of ardor; bulbous, having bulbs, bulblike; riotous, poisonous, piteous, joyous, etc.
 2. Chem. A suffix denoting that the element indicated by the name bearing it, has a valence lower than that denoted by the termination -ic; as, nitrous, mercurous, ferrous, sulphurous, etc., as contrasted with nitric, mercuric, ferric, sulphuric, etc.