Oxidation mechanism of nonstoichiometric cuprous oxide (Cu2 yO) has been studied as a function of temperature (973-1273 K) and oxygen pressure (1-105 Pa), using microthermogravimetric, marker and two-stage oxidation techniques. The last method consisted in using heavy oxygen isotope 18O in order to confirm the results, obtained with marker technique. It has been found that in early stages of reaction not exceeding 30 hours, CuO formation on the surface Cu2 yO follows approximately cubic rate law. In later stages, during long-term oxidation, lasting hundreds of hours, oxidation process follows strictly parabolic kinetics with the rate, being independent of Cu2 yO pre-treatment. Marker and two-stage oxidation experiments have shown that the growth process of CuO layer proceeds by the outward diffusion of cations, clearly indicating that cation sublattice of CuO is predominantly defected.