From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Nuisance \Nui"sance\, n. [OE. noisance, OF. noisance, nuisance,
   fr. L. nocentia guilt, fr. nocere to hurt, harm; akin to
   necare to kill. Cf Necromancy, Nocent, Noxious,
   That which annoys or gives trouble and vexation; that which
   is offensive or noxious.
   [1913 Webster]

   Note: Nuisances are public when they annoy citizens in
         general; private, when they affect individuals only.
         [1913 Webster]
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