fuliginous

adjective

fu·​lig·​i·​nous fyu̇-ˈli-jə-nəs How to pronounce fuliginous (audio)
1
a
: sooty
b
2
: having a dark or dusky color
fuliginously adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Did you know?

Fuliginous is a word with a dark and dirty past - it derives from "fuligo," the Latin word for "soot." In an early sense (now obsolete), "fuliginous" was used to describe noxious bodily vapors once thought to be produced by organic processes. The "sooty" sense, which English speakers have been using since the early 1620s, can be used to describe everything from dense fogs and malevolent clouds to overworked chimney sweeps. "Fuliginous" can also be used to refer to something dark or dusky, as in Henry James' novel The Ambassadors, in which the character Waymarsh is described as having "dark fuliginous eyes."

Example Sentences

a fuliginous prose style that's not exactly ideal for writing for the mass media

Keep scrolling for more

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Late Latin fūlīginōsus "covered with soot," from Latin fūlīgin-, fūlīgō "soot" + -ōsus -ous; fūlīgō, from fūlī- (going back to Indo-European *dhuh2-li- "smoke, dust," whence also Sanskrit dhūli- "dust," Lithuanian dū́lis "mist, dust from tree rot used to drive out bees") + -gin-, -gō, suffix denoting something coating or enveloping, usually undesirable, as rōbīgō "rust," mellīgō "bee glue"

Note: Indo-European *dhuh2-li- is usually taken to be a nominal derivative of the verbal base *dhu̯eh2- or *dheu̯h2- "produce smoke by burning"—see fume entry 1.

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of fuliginous was in 1597

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near fuliginous

Cite this Entry

“Fuliginous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fuliginous. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ