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verb (used without object), siz·zled, siz·zling.
  1. to make a hissing sound, as in frying or burning.
  2. Informal. to be very hot: It's sizzling out.
  3. Informal. to be very angry; harbor deep resentment: I'm still sizzling over that insult.
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verb (used with object), siz·zled, siz·zling.
  1. to fry or burn with or as if with a hissing sound: to sizzle steaks on the grill; The sun sizzles the pavement.
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  1. a sizzling sound.
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Origin of sizzle

1595–1605; imitative; see -le
Related formssiz·zler, nounsiz·zling·ly, adverb


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

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Examples from the Web for sizzle

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The stranger broke off an icicle and laid it on the stove to hear it sizzle.

  • He was slowly being cremated and it was fascinating to watch him sizzle.

    In Africa

    John T. McCutcheon

  • I still persisted, and he continued to sizzle around at a fierce rate.

  • As she burns the letters the tears fall and sizzle on the hot stove.

    The Spirit of the Ghetto

    Hutchins Hapgood

  • He threw it into the fire; and, with a sombre satisfaction, watched it sizzle.

    Harlequin and Columbine

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for sizzle


verb (intr)
  1. to make the hissing sound characteristic of frying fat
  2. informal to be very hot
  3. informal to be very angry
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  1. a hissing sound
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Word Origin

C17: of imitative origin. Compare siss (now dialect) to hiss, West Frisian size, siizje. See also fizz and fizzle
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 sizzle


c.1600, "to burn with a hissing sound," perhaps a frequentative form of Middle English sissen "hiss, buzz" (c.1300), of imitative origin. The figurative sense is attested from 1859. Related: Sizzled; sizzling. The noun is first recorded 1823.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper