The chinese character 膩 (nì) is often used to describe when you are sick of something because it's too excessive in some way.

Google translate converts it to "greasy" which is true in the sense that yes, if you eat too much greasy food you get sick of it, but it's not just restricted to oily stuff. If you have a giant steak but there are no accompanying vegetables, then you may not be able to eat much of the steak because all that meat is too "nì."

The concept can be used outside of eating as well. For example, if you play the same game for several hours every single day you may exhaust your interest in it because you've played it to the point where it is now "nì."

I know such a word exists in English because I remember coming across something with a very similar meaning on dictionary.com, but it seemed to be a rather obscure word that I've never seen used in everyday English, and I neglected to write down the word, so I've completely forgotten.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

  • Sanjiu, Western languages use upper case letters in the first word after a full stop or exclamation point. Also please uppercase the i in I, I'm and I've
    – mplungjan
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 8:28
  • 4
    Knights Who Say Ni
    – mplungjan
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 8:33
  • 2
    @mplungjan capitalize
    – hunter2
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 8:44
  • While maybe not encapsulated in a single word in English (at least not a common one - I had never heard "cloy" before and its synonyms have positive connotations), it's well know concept: "He said 'The world is funny, and people are strange, And man is a creature of constant change, and After you've been havin' steak for a long time Beans, beans taste fine.'" ~Shel Silverstein
    – Patrick M
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 14:16
  • Hypersomnia means excessive tiredness. Not necessarily tired of excessiveness. But if you had Hypersomnia, you'd be excessively tired of being tired, or tired of being excessively tired. Maybe by now you're "nì" of me talking about it. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 17:02

14 Answers 14


you mean sated or surfeited?



or cloyed


  • 4
    "sated" and "satiate" have positive meanings, but 膩 is negative. I think "cloyed" is a better match than "surfeit" but again, you're not necessarily sick of something because you've done too much of it. Imagine eating a hamburger that was just the bread and meat. No lettuce, tomatoes, onions, or sauce. You would only be able to manage a couple of bites before becoming sick of it not because you ate too much of the hamburger, but simply because that dryness is too overwhelming.
    – sanjiu
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 8:57
  • 3
    ‘Cloyed’ is usually the word that comes closest to 腻 when speaking of food. I don't think there is a word for the hamburger situation, but when something is too sweet, rich, greasy, fatty, etc., ‘cloy’ is the most natural word. In my experience, 腻 most often implies these things as well, rather than the food being overly dry. If you're talking about actions, ‘sick and tired of’ is a good translation for 腻死了. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 11:47
  • 1
    Also, I disagree with sanjiu that 腻 does not have to be about overindulgence. The definition of what overindulgence is, is partaking of/doing something to a degree where it is no longer pleasurable. If we're talking about water, obviously it takes quite a while before you reach that stage; but dry biscuits with no water will get you there very quickly. It is not a matter of one not being overindulgent, but rather how much of something it takes to overindulge. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 12:35
  • @JanusBahsJacquet He said it wasn't that you actually eat the steak. You eat very little because it's too much. So you both agree. Overindulge is not the right word. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 16:52

These are not exact English equivalents, but they are often what's used informally by English speakers:

  • sick (I am sick of eating this)
  • tired (I am tired of eating this)
  • Also see sick and tired
  • fed up (I am fed up with eating this)

These are not exact equivalents because they are not restricted to overindulgence, they can be used with unpleasant experiences too. However English speakers tend to use these phrases to describe the feeling of 膩.

  • 1
    "fed up" usually refers to another person, I think, as compared to the others which are common with a person, thing, or activity
    – Izkata
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 17:03
  • 1
    thanks for using words that people will actually use....
    – Mou某
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 9:05

Perhaps the phrase you are looking for is ad nauseam:-

to a sickening or excessive degree

as in

we had steak ad nauseam

While this isn't in the strictest sense English, it is common enough that most people would know what you meant.

  • How do you use the phrase "ad nauseam"? Does it have a part of speech? Do you just add it to the end of the sentence that describes what you're sick of? Can I say something like, "Because there are no vegetables, this meat dish is ad nauseam"?
    – sanjiu
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 9:01
  • @sanjiu Not really. I'm not quite sure about the part of speech, either. You could use it if you were to re-write your sentence: There is meat ad nauseam, because there are no vegetables. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 9:18
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    I think adjectival phrase is the best way to describe ad nauseam. I'm not sure it can be used in all the contexts a normal adjectival can, but it definitely modifies nouns (meat ad nauseam) and actions (we rode roller coasters ad nauseam) but can't be used as a direct object (*this meat dish is ad nauseam). So.
    – zwol
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 2:57

to surfeit

In particular meaning number 9 on that page:

to indulge to excess in anything

As found in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night":

If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.

  • For "nì" you would then go with "surfeiting"?
    – skymningen
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 8:21
  • I would say meaning #4 is more relevant: general disgust caused by excess or satiety.
    – mplungjan
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 8:31
  • "surfeit" seems to be when you're sick because you've eaten too much, but 膩 doesn't necessarily have to be overindulgence. If you just eat a couple of cookies but there's no milk, you will quickly grow tired of the cookies. It's not that you ate too many cookies, it's that the dryness is excessive.
    – sanjiu
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 8:53

Engorged, stuffed, and full are the closest I can think of that.

Like someone else said satiated means full to satisfaction, but doesn't have the negative sense.

Engorge definitely means you overate. Sometimes it's used in a simile such as "engorged like a tick" to give an extra repulsive punch to it.

  • Problem is that the person may not be full. Think of going out to movies, and the gf/wife wants another chick-flick, and you go, "Not another one!!!" You may still be hungry, but all that's left is mash-potatoes, and you've had that for days. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 16:48

This is somewhat colloquial, but how about "fatigue"?

Let's have chicken tonight, I have steak-fatigue


When I have had too much coffee I am coffeed-out. Not very elegant and may be regional (California?).

  • In the UK, obviously, we're more likely to be tea-ed out, but definitely the format is used cisatlantic. As opposed to teed off (irritated), which I've always assumed was short for ticked off. Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 16:45

How about 'Burned out'? This usually implies simply tired, not necessarily sick. Or, similarly 'fried' or 'brain fried'. Then there is 'fed up'. Only single word is 'fried', sorry. Or there is 膩煩 which translates as 'loath', 'bored', 'sick and tired', or 'fed up' with.


Surprised nobody mentioned blasé or jaded.

  • 2
    blasé is exactly the right word, but a brief definition ("apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment") might have made this answer more useful.
    – nohat
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 3:00

The word gorged conveys the notion of having eaten to excess in a disgusting or off-putting manner (i.e. a person who is shoveling food into their mouth is gorging himself). I've only rarely heard it applied to things other than food, though.

Another possibility is binge, which refers to a period of overindulgence with negative connotations. This is often used with food, perhaps most notably in terms of "binge drinking" (consuming a massive amount of alcohol in a short period of time), but you also hear people talk about other kinds of binges. For example, staying up all night to watch a Doctor Who marathon could be described as a "Doctor Who binge".


Not a pretty word, but oversated fits your requirements.


It might be a colloquialism, but where I'm from, we use the verb "founder" to mean "consumption until illness". As in, "My dog ate so much, she foundered."

  • 2
    Is this a localized usage? I've never heard founder used as a verb before.
    – ghoppe
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 15:36
  • I'm from Eastern Kentucky, in the USA. It's a word I grew up with. I'm not sure if I've ever heard it used outside of that region.
    – Jim Green
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 15:53

Founder 4. intr. (Chiefly of a horse or its rider.) To stumble violently, fall helplessly to the ground, collapse; to fall lame; occas. to sink or stick fast (in mire or bog). [OED]


We might say bloated to indicate this feeling of all full belly ache.

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