Idioms

    fit to be tied, Informal. extremely annoyed or angry: He was fit to be tied when I told him I'd wrecked the car.
    fit to kill, Informal. to the limit; exceedingly: She was dressed up fit to kill.

Origin of fit

1
1325–75; Middle English fitten; akin to Middle Dutch vitten to befit
Related formsfit·ta·ble, adjectiveun·fit·ta·ble, adjective

Synonyms for fit

Usage note

Both fit and fitted are standard as past tense and past participle of fit1 : The new door fit (or fitted ) the old frame perfectly. The suit had fitted (or fit ) well last year. Fitted is somewhat more common than fit in the sense “to adjust, make conform”: The tailor fitted the suit with a minimum of fuss. In the passive voice, fitted is the more common past participle: The door was fitted with a new handle.

fit

2
[fit]

noun

a sudden, acute attack or manifestation of a disease, especially one marked by convulsions or unconsciousness: a fit of epilepsy.
an onset, spell, or period of emotion, feeling, inclination, activity, etc.: a fit of anger; a fit of weeping.

Origin of fit

2
before 1000; Middle English; Old English fitt round of fighting. See fit3

fit

3
[fit]

noun Archaic.

a song, ballad, or story.
a division of a song, ballad, or story.

Origin of fit

3
before 900; Middle English; Old English fitt round of singing, canto, song, speech

fit

4
[fit]

verb Nonstandard (chiefly Older Use ).

simple past tense of fight.

FIT

Banking. Federal Insurance Tax.

ex nihilo nihil fit

[eks ni-hi-loh ni-hil fit; English eks nahy-hi-loh nahy-hil fit, nee-hi-loh nee-hil]

Latin.

nothing is created from nothing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for fit

Contemporary Examples of fit

Historical Examples of fit

  • As to the Gifted, I have heard Tom say often, that he was certain he was in a fit, and had it inwardly.

    The Lamplighter

    Charles Dickens

  • Today, in a fit of frenzied jealousy, you would have killed me, your brother.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • Why, inside two weeks he'll be fit as a fiddle, and inside a month he'll be his own self!

  • I was the only judge, in my own wise opinion, of what was right and fit.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Some of us are only fit to destroy what is yet worse than ourselves.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for fit

fit

1

verb fits, fitting or fitted or US fit

to be appropriate or suitable for (a situation, etc)
to be of the correct size or shape for (a connection, container, etc)
(tr) to adjust in order to render appropriatethey had to fit the idea to their philosophy
(tr) to supply with that which is needed
(tr) to try clothes on (someone) in order to make adjustments if necessary
(tr) to make competent or readythe experience helped to fit him for the task
(tr) to locate with care
(intr) to correspond with the facts or circumstances

adjective fitter or fittest

suitable to a purpose or design; appropriate
having the right qualifications; qualifying
in good health
worthy or deservinga book fit to be read
(foll by an infinitive) in such an extreme condition that a specified consequence is likelyshe was fit to scream; you look fit to drop
mainly British informal (of a person) sexually attractive

noun

the manner in which something fits
the act or process of fitting
statistics the correspondence between observed and predicted characteristics of a distribution or modelSee goodness of fit
See also fit in, fit out, fit up
Derived Formsfittable, adjective

Word Origin for fit

C14: probably from Middle Dutch vitten; related to Old Norse fitja to knit

fit

2

noun

pathol a sudden attack or convulsion, such as an epileptic seizure
a sudden spell of emotiona fit of anger
an impulsive period of activity or lack of activity; mooda fit of laziness
give a person a fit to surprise a person in an outrageous manner
have a fit or throw a fit informal to become very angry or excited
in fits and starts or by fits and starts in spasmodic spells; irregularly

verb fits, fitting or fitted

(intr) informal to have a sudden attack or convulsion, such as an epileptic seizure

Word Origin for fit

Old English fitt conflict; see fit ³

fit

3

noun

archaic a story or song or a section of a story or song

Word Origin for fit

Old English fitt; related to Old Norse fit hem, Old High German fizza yarn
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

Word Origin and History for fit
n.1

1823, "the fitting of one thing to another," later (1831) "the way something fits." Originally "an adversary of equal power" (mid-13c.), obscure, possibly from Old English fitt "a conflict, a struggle" (see fit (n.2)).

n.2

"paroxysm, sudden attack" (as of anger), 1540s, probably via Middle English sense of "painful, exciting experience" (early 14c.), from Old English fitt "conflict, struggle," of uncertain origin, with no clear cognates outside English. Perhaps ultimately cognate with fit (n.1) on notion of "to meet." Phrase by fits and starts first attested 1610s.

adj.

"suited to the circumstances, proper," mid-15c., of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle English noun fit "an adversary of equal power" (mid-13c.), which is perhaps connected to fit (n.1). Related: Fitter; fittest. Survival of the fittest (1867) coined by H. Spencer.

v.

"be suitable," probably from early 15c.; "to be the right shape," 1580s, from fit (adj.). Related: Fitted; fitting. Fitted sheets is attested from 1963.

n.3

part of a poem, Old English fitt, of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fit

fit

In addition to the idioms beginning with fit

  • fit as a fiddle
  • fit in
  • fit like a glove
  • fit out
  • fits and starts, by
  • fit to be tied
  • fit to kill

also see:

  • give someone fits
  • have a fit
  • if the shoe fits
  • see fit to
  • survival of the fittest
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.