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  1. Often fumes. any smokelike or vaporous exhalation from matter or substances, especially of an odorous or harmful nature: tobacco fumes; noxious fumes of carbon monoxide.
  2. an irritable or angry mood: He has been in a fume ever since the contract fell through.
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verb (used with object), fumed, fum·ing.
  1. to emit or exhale, as fumes or vapor: giant stacks fuming their sooty smoke.
  2. to treat with or expose to fumes.
  3. to show fretful irritation or anger: She always fumes when the mail is late.
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verb (used without object), fumed, fum·ing.
  1. to rise, or pass off, as fumes: smoke fuming from an ashtray.
  2. to emit fumes: The leaky pipe fumed alarmingly.
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Origin of fume

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French fum < Latin fūmus smoke, steam, fume
Related formsfume·less, adjectivefume·like, adjectivefum·er, nounfum·ing·ly, adverbun·fum·ing, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for fuming

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But why rasp your nerves and spoil your digestion by so fuming over their politics?

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Mr. Galloway was fuming and fretting at the non-arrival of his clerk, Mr. Jenkins.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Jeff made his way past the fuming candidate and walked on, speculating.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • But wasn't it fun to see old Mudge fuming while I kept him waiting.

  • On top of this moodiness a violence of temper, a stewing, cursing, fuming about.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

British Dictionary definitions for fuming


  1. (intr) to be overcome with anger or fury; rage
  2. to give off (fumes) or (of fumes) to be given off, esp during a chemical reaction
  3. (tr) to subject to or treat with fumes; fumigate
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  1. (often plural) a pungent or toxic vapour
  2. a sharp or pungent odour
  3. a condition of anger
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Derived Formsfumeless, adjectivefumelike, adjectivefumer, nounfumingly, adverbfumy, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French fum, from Latin fūmus smoke, vapour
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 fuming



late 14c., from Old French fum "smoke, steam, vapor, breath," from Latin fumus "smoke, steam, fume" (source of Italian fumo, Spanish humo), from PIE *dheu- (cf. Sanskrit dhumah, Old Church Slavonic dymu, Lithuanian dumai, Old Prussian dumis "smoke," Middle Irish dumacha "fog," Greek thymos "spirit, mind, soul").

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c.1400, "to fumigate," from Old French fumer, from Latin fumare "to smoke, steam," from fumus "smoke, steam, fume" (see fume (n.)). Figurative sense of "show anger" is first recorded 1520s. Related: Fumed; fumes; fuming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fuming in Medicine


  1. Producing or emitting smoke or vapor, as for certain concentrated nitric, sulfuric, and hydrochloric acids.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

fuming in Science


  1. Smoke, vapor, or gas, especially if irritating, harmful, or smelly.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.