\ 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 fume (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 Even the most fume-smothered sections of the city already have the basics of pedestrian infrastructure: streets and sidewalks. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "Is a High Line Extension Really What We Need on the Far West Side?," 20 Jan. 2021 As that debate was ongoing, the media's focus shifted to outside Congress, where supporters who had gathered to hear an aggrieved president fume about his defeat began streaming to the Capitol. David Bauder, Star Tribune, "Media captures unprecedented storming of U.S. Capitol," 7 Jan. 2021 Rooted in the Latin per and fume (through smoke), perfume got its start with humans crushing and infusing botanicals directly into oil or water. Travel, "This ancient town is the perfume capital of India," 4 Jan. 2021 Such fume events were reported to NASA 362 times from January 2018 to December 2019, and a recent study suggests that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California Week in Review: ‘Getting crushed’," 19 Dec. 2020 That translated to about five fume events a day in the U.S. in the era before the coronavirus. Los Angeles Times, "Smells on a plane: Have you been exposed to toxic chemicals while flying?," 17 Dec. 2020 Many fume over the county’s decisions to close outdoor public playgrounds and ban outdoor dining while allowing a slew of indoor businesses to stay open at reduced capacity — including shopping malls, tattoo and massage parlors and hair salons. Los Angeles Times, "Angry parents won’t let officials slide over closed playgrounds, packed malls," 3 Dec. 2020 Frank Helleis, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, has developed a system of fume hoods over students’ and teachers’ desks. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "As COVID-19 soars in many communities, schools attempt to find ways through the crisis," 18 Nov. 2020 The post appears to be listing symptoms of polymer fume fever, which is caused by inhaling the fumes from PTFE that's burned at 300 to 400 degrees Celsius. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Doctors Call Kourtney Kardashian’s Mask Conspiracy Theory “Unbelievably Dangerous”," 4 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Amy Palcic on Wednesday, NFL writers around the country began to fume. Matt Young, Chron, "NFL media trashing the Texans for firing PR chief Amy Palcic," 11 Nov. 2020 Obama’s climate record is far from perfect: Environmental advocates still fume over his support for natural gas drilling, for example. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "There Are No Excuses Left for Leaving Climate Change Out of the Debates," 24 Sep. 2020 On Capitol Hill, the China problem many politicians still fume about is cheap Chinese goods, ignoring the fact that China’s labor is no longer inexpensive. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "TikTok Deal Exposes a Security Gap, and a Missing China Strategy," 20 Sep. 2020 Ax fumes when another billionaire gets more attention; Chuck obsesses about putting Ax behind bars. Mike Hughes, Cincinnati.com, "Here's what you need to watch on TV each day this week: May 3-9," 3 May 2020 After all, Brooklynites still wax poetically of days long ago when Ebbets Field hosted the Dodgers, fuming at the owner took the team across the country to Los Angeles. Ivana Hrynkiw, AL.com, "Thursday crash leaves 68-year-old Selma man dead," 2 Feb. 2018 City Hall’s custom of spending as long as possible to get almost nothing done has sadly slowed the effort to install a monument to Maya Angelou outside the Main Library and has left a talented local artist fuming. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "Artist’s vision for Maya Angelou statue crushed by City Hall’s dysfunction," 19 Oct. 2019 That ranges from Pippen fuming about being underpaid to all of Rodman's outlandish antics to the murder of Jordan's father, and media coverage that probed whether the tragedy was somehow linked to revelations about Michael Jordan's gambling habit. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Last Dance' hits the right notes with its look back at Michael Jordan and the Bulls," 17 Apr. 2020 Never combine disinfecting or any cleaning products (bleach and vinegar, for example) and open the window or ventilate a room if fumes become bothersome. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Are Natural Disinfectants Effective? How to Find the Best Cleaner to Kill Germs," 2 Apr. 2020

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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Learn More about fume

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

1 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fume.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fume. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for fume



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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