\ ˈfyüm How to pronounce fume (audio) \

Definition of fume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a smoke, vapor, or gas especially when irritating or offensive engine exhaust fumes
b : an often noxious suspension of particles in a gas (such as air)
2 : something (such as an emotion) that impairs one's reasoning sometimes his head gets a little hot with the fumes of patriotism— Matthew Arnold
3 : a state of excited irritation or anger usually used in the phrase in a fume
on fumes
: with little of the original strength or energy remaining tired ballplayers running on fumes


fumed; fuming

Definition of fume (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to expose to or treat with fumes
2 : to give off in fumes fuming thick black smoke
3 : to utter while in a state of excited irritation or anger

intransitive verb

1a : to emit fumes
b : to be in a state of excited irritation or anger fretted and fumed over the delay
2 : to rise in or as if in fumes

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Other Words from fume


fumy \ ˈfyü-​mē How to pronounce fumy (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for fume

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of fume in a Sentence

Verb She's still fuming about not being invited to the party. We sat there waiting for him, fuming with anger at the delay. “They made these changes without even asking our opinion,” one employee fumed. The volcano was fuming thick black smoke.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Earlier this month, a Buffalo Wild Wings employee in Burlington died and 13 others were taken to the hospital after exposure to chemical fumes from an accidental mixture of two cleaning agents. BostonGlobe.com, "Chemical odor at Cape Cod nursing homes prompts hazmat response - The Boston Globe," 26 Nov. 2019 Ryan Baldera, 32, died last Thursday, Nov. 7, when he was exposed to fumes from a floor cleaner, officials said. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Massachusetts Buffalo Wild Wings Reopens After Death of Manager Ryan Baldera in Cleaning Accident," 11 Nov. 2019 All of this looks like the telltale signs of exposure to toxic chemical fumes or chemical weapons, such as mustard gas, Dr. Brandon Larsen told the Times. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Vaping-linked lung illness looks like exposure to mustard gas, doctors say," 3 Oct. 2019 Authorities said an 11-year-old son of Curt Boesl’s, Alex, also fell ill to the fumes late Saturday morning and was taken by air ambulance to a Twin Cities hospital. USA TODAY, "Liquid oozes onto highway, red squirrels rising, floods, oysters, exploding ATM: News from around our 50 states," 24 Dec. 2019 Authorities said Steven Boesl also was apparently overcome by fumes. USA TODAY, "Liquid oozes onto highway, red squirrels rising, floods, oysters, exploding ATM: News from around our 50 states," 24 Dec. 2019 Tragically, two brothers, Steve and Curt Boesl, died last weekend from reportedly being overcome by toxic grain silo fumes. Celeste Edenloff, Twin Cities, "2 brothers killed by grain silo fumes were also firefighters in their western Minnesota community," 23 Dec. 2019 Officers said the man was painting inside the water tank and was overcome by the fumes and was barely breathing. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Police officer, 2 workers hospitalized after exposure to paint fumes in water tank," 10 Dec. 2019 Several workers were made severely ill by the fumes. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "State ignored worker death to lure Amazon business, report says," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As Archie fumed after Pinky invited David back to the dinner table, Edith persuaded her husband to listen to his friend. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Marisa Tomei's Edith shines in ABC's latest Jimmy Kimmel-Norman Lear '70s sitcom presentation," 19 Dec. 2019 Even going 30 mph through L.A. traffic was a deliciously low-slung, noisy, fume-filled joyride. Sue Callaway, Los Angeles Times, "Driven: For collectors of classic used cars, Bring a Trailer is a market disruptor," 17 Oct. 2019 Many yardeners rely on highly polluting lawn mowers and lawn tractors, fume-spewing weed eaters and leaf blowers as well as an array of unnatural chemicals to kill weeds and pests. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "The autumn leaves drift past your window. Now leave them alone.," 3 Oct. 2019 On Wednesday, Trump and his administration fumed ahead of the House impeachment vote. Allan Smith, NBC News, "Trump in 2008: It would've been 'wonderful' if Pelosi impeached Bush, but Clinton impeachment 'was nonsense'," 18 Dec. 2019 Teamsters fumed as hundreds of trucks backed up outside the port. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "How a feud over two jobs tipped the West Coast longshore union toward bankruptcy," 29 Nov. 2019 In April, Michigan special teams coordinator and safeties coach Chris Partridge fumed when asked to comment on the moves of his former colleagues. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Why two ex-Michigan football assistants 'have something to prove' with Ohio State," 27 Nov. 2019 With a full week to fume about the Iowa loss, the Gophers will take out their frustrations on the Wildcats, who are 2-8 against the spread this season. Johnny Parlay, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Minnesota-Northwestern odds, picks and best bets," 21 Nov. 2019 Clinton supporters still fume over their candidate’s loss in the key swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, "Column: What’s behind Hillary Clinton’s attack on Tulsi Gabbard over Russia? Experience.," 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fume.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fume


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fume


Middle English, "smoke, exhalation," borrowed from Anglo-French fum, going back to Latin fūmus "smoke, fumes," going back to Indo-European *dhuh2-mó- "smoke, vapor" (whence also Old Church Slavic dymŭ "smoke," Lithuanian dū́mai, Sanskrit dhūmáḥ, and probably Greek thȳmós "spirit, mind, courage"), noun derivative from a verbal base *dhu̯eh2- or *dheu̯h2- "produce smoke by burning," whence Greek thýō, thýein "to sacrifice," Latin suffiō, suffīre "to subject to smoke, fumigate," Old Church Slavic dujǫ, duti "to blow" and perhaps Tocharian B twās- "kindle, ignite"

Note: Also allied are Hittite tuhhae-, perhaps "to smoke out, drive out by smoke," from an unattested noun derivative (earlier glossed as "gasp, cough"; see A. Kloeckhorst, Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon, Brill, 2008); and Old High German toum "vapor, smoke," Middle Dutch doom "vapor, steam," going back to Germanic *dauma-, presumably from an o-grade derivative *dhou̯h2-mo-. Greek thȳmós is an exact phonetic correspondent to the other words, though the sense divergence suggests influence from some phonetically similar base of different meaning.

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Time Traveler for fume

Time Traveler

The first known use of fume was in the 14th century

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Statistics for fume

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fume.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fume. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fume


How to pronounce fume (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: smoke or gas that smells unpleasant



English Language Learners Definition of fume (Entry 2 of 2)

: to show or feel anger
: to say (something) in an angry way
: to produce or give off (smoke, fumes, etc.)


\ ˈfyüm How to pronounce fume (audio) \

Kids Definition of fume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a disagreeable smoke, vapor, or gas usually used in pl.noxious fumes


fumed; fuming

Kids Definition of fume (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give off a disagreeable smoke, vapor, or gas
2 : to be angry
3 : to say something in an angry way “Don't ever ask me again,” I fumed.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fume

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fume

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fume

Spanish Central: Translation of fume

Nglish: Translation of fume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fume for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fume

Comments on fume

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good-natured easy friendliness

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