verb (used without object), siz·zled, siz·zling.

to make a hissing sound, as in frying or burning.
Informal. to be very hot: It's sizzling out.
Informal. to be very angry; harbor deep resentment: I'm still sizzling over that insult.

verb (used with object), siz·zled, siz·zling.

to fry or burn with or as if with a hissing sound: to sizzle steaks on the grill; The sun sizzles the pavement.


a sizzling sound.

Origin of sizzle

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

Synonyms for sizzle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sizzling

Contemporary Examples of sizzling

Historical Examples of sizzling

  • There was no longer the sound of sizzling steam from the unexplored passage-way.

  • Even on such a day, sizzling work had to be done, as in winter.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • The next instant the blackness of the night was split by a sizzling flame.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • Butter was sizzling in the pans and emitting a sharp odor of burnt flour.


    Emile Zola

  • The Martian's weapon and the hand that held it vanished in the sizzling blast.

British Dictionary definitions for sizzling



extremely hot
very passionate or erotica sizzling sex scene


verb (intr)

to make the hissing sound characteristic of frying fat
informal to be very hot
informal to be very angry


a hissing sound

Word Origin for sizzle

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 sizzling



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper