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[fiz-uh l] /ˈfɪz əl/
verb (used without object), fizzled, fizzling.
to make a hissing or sputtering sound, especially one that dies out weakly.
Informal. to fail ignominiously after a good start (often followed by out):
The reform movement fizzled out because of poor leadership.
a fizzling, hissing, or sputtering.
Informal. a failure; fiasco.
Origin of fizzle
1525-35; earlier fysel to break wind, frequentative of *fise < Old Norse fīsa to break wind; akin to feist
2. miscarry, collapse, founder. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fizzle out
Historical Examples
  • It was a lot easier just to let her explode and then fizzle out.

    The Odyssey of Sam Meecham Charles E. Fritch
  • They fizzle out if they lack the character which the woman admires.

  • But if you do, Henderson will back out, and Brace, and the whole thing will fizzle out before its fairly begun.

    Whispering Tongues Homer Greene
  • Your Socialists either eat out of the Kaiser's hand or sputter and fizzle out.

    The White Morning

    Gertrude Atherton
  • The first is that mysterious nullifying force by which such movements usually do fizzle out.

    Books and Persons Arnold Bennett
  • And if he gets to knowing how good he is, hes likely to get fond of himself and fizzle out.

    Full-Back Foster

    Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for fizzle out


verb (intransitive)
to make a hissing or bubbling sound
(often foll by out) (informal) to fail or die out, esp after a promising start
a hissing or bubbling sound; fizz
(informal) an outright failure; fiasco
Word Origin
C16: probably from obsolete fist to break wind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fizzle out



1530s, "to break wind without noise," probably altered from obsolete fist, from Middle English fisten "break wind" (see feisty) + frequentative suffix -le. Related: Fizzled; fizzling.

Noun sense of "failure, fiasco" is from 1846, originally U.S. college slang for "failure in an exam." Barnhart says it is "not considered as derived from the verb." The verb in this sense is from 1847.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fizzle out



: Our monster bash was a fizzle


To fail; lose effect; flop, peter out: I bail out of all my commitments and things fizzle

[1840s+ College students; fr the lackluster sibilance of a damp firecracker]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with fizzle out

fizzle out

Fail, end weakly, especially after a hopeful beginning. For example, The enthusiasm for reform has fizzled out in this state. The word fizzle dates from the early 1500s and meant “to break wind without making noise.” Later it was applied to hissing noises, such as those made by wet fireworks, and then to any endeavor that ends in disappointment. [ ; mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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