[ kuhs ]
See synonyms for: cusscussedcussing on

verb (used without object)
  1. to use profanity; curse; swear.

verb (used with object)
  1. to swear at; curse: He cussed the pedestrian for getting in his way.

  2. to criticize or reprimand in harsh terms (often followed by out): The coach cussed out the team for losing.

  1. a person or animal: a strange but likable cuss.

Origin of cuss

An Americanism first recorded in 1765–75; variant of curse, with loss of r and shortening of vowel, as in ass2, bass2, passel, etc.

Other words from cuss

  • cuss·er, noun

Words that may be confused with cuss

Words Nearby cuss Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cuss in a sentence

  • I don't blame him for killin' the cuss, not a bit; I'd have shot any man livin' that 'ad taken a good horse o' mine up that trail.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • I did think uh tryin' t' get off with their hosses, but I figured it wouldn't pay with that sharp-eared cuss on the watch.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • cuss him to-night, ef he's alive; an' ef his bed is soff' as wool, doan let him sleep for thinkin' of Miss Dory.

    The Cromptons | Mary J. Holmes
  • Here this young cuss, Fire Bear, is traipsin' around as he pleases, on nothin' more than his word that he'll appear for trial.

    Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman
  • Texas Smith looked on with an approving grin, and suggested, "Better shute the dam cuss."

    Overland | John William De Forest

British Dictionary definitions for cuss


/ (kʌs) informal /

  1. a curse; oath

  2. a person or animal, esp an annoying one

  1. another word for curse (def. 8), curse (def. 9)

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