a tube, cord, or the like, filled or saturated with combustible matter, for igniting an explosive.

verb (used with object), fused, fus·ing.


    have a short fuse, Informal. to anger easily; have a quick temper.

Origin of fuse

1635–45; < Italian fuso < Latin fūsus spindle
Related formsfuse·less, adjectivefuse·like, adjective




Electricity. a protective device, used in an electric circuit, containing a conductor that melts under heat produced by an excess current, thereby opening the circuit.Compare circuit breaker.

verb (used with object), fused, fus·ing.

to combine or blend by melting together; melt.
to unite or blend into a whole, as if by melting together: The author skillfully fuses these fragments into a cohesive whole.

verb (used without object), fused, fus·ing.

to become liquid under the action of heat; melt: At a relatively low temperature the metal will fuse.
to become united or blended: The two groups fused to create one strong union.
Chiefly British. to overload an electric circuit so as to burn out a fuse.

Origin of fuse

1675–85; < Latin fūsus melted, poured, cast, past participle of fundere

Synonyms for fuse

2. See melt1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fuse

Contemporary Examples of fuse

Historical Examples of fuse

  • But they were detached fires, and they did not fuse into a general mass at any time.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Vard, who had taken out a cigarette, held the tip tranquilly to his fuse.

  • But these excellences, though found in a hareem, will not fuse, as in a poem or a picture.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Three may in like manner collide and fuse into a single ring.

    The Machinery of the Universe

    Amos Emerson Dolbear

  • How'n the name of Pluto will he handle things if a fuse blows?

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

British Dictionary definitions for fuse



US fuze


a lead of combustible black powder in a waterproof covering (safety fuse), or a lead containing an explosive (detonating fuse), used to fire an explosive charge
any device by which an explosive charge is ignited
blow a fuse See blow 1 (def. 12)


(tr) to provide or equip with such a fuse
Derived Formsfuseless, adjective

Word Origin for fuse

C17: from Italian fuso spindle, from Latin fūsus




to unite or become united by melting, esp by the action of heatto fuse borax and copper sulphate at a high temperature
to become or cause to become liquid, esp by the action of heat; melt
to join or become combined; integrate
(tr) to equip (an electric circuit, plug, etc) with a fuse
British to fail or cause to fail as a result of the blowing of a fusethe lights fused


a protective device for safeguarding electric circuits, etc, containing a wire that melts and breaks the circuit when the current exceeds a certain value

Word Origin for fuse

C17: from Latin fūsus melted, cast, poured out, from fundere to pour out, shed; sense 5 influenced by fuse 1
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 fuse

1680s, "to melt" (transitive), back-formation from fusion. Intransitive sense, "to become liquid," attested from 1800. Figurative sense of "blend different things" is first recorded 1817. Related: Fused; fusing.


"combustible cord or tube for lighting an explosive device," also fuze, 1640s, from Italian fuso "spindle" (so called because the originals were long, thin tubes filled with gunpowder), from Latin fusus "spindle," of uncertain origin. Influenced by French fusée "spindleful of hemp fiber," and obsolete English fusee "musket fired by a fuse." Meaning "device that breaks an electrical circuit" first recorded 1884, so named for its shape, but erroneously attributed to fuse (v.) because it melts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for fuse




A safety device that protects an electric circuit from becoming overloaded. Fuses contain a length of thin wire (usually of a metal alloy) that melts and breaks the circuit if too much current flows through it. They were traditionally used to protect electronic equipment and prevent fires, but have largely been replaced by circuit breakers.
A cord of readily combustible material that is lighted at one end to carry a flame along its length to detonate an explosive at the other end.


To melt something, such as metal or glass, by heating.
To blend two or more substances by melting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with fuse


see blow a fuse.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.