fusee

noun
fu·​see | \ fyü-ˈzē How to pronounce fusee (audio) \

Definition of fusee

1 : a conical spirally grooved pulley in a timepiece from which a cord or chain unwinds onto a cylinder containing the mainspring and which by its increasing diameter compensates for the lessening power of the spring
2 : a red signal flare used especially for protecting stalled trains and trucks

First Known Use of fusee

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fusee

borrowed from French fusée "mass of thread around a spindle, explosive fuse, rocket, fusee in a timepiece," going back to Old French fusee "mass of thread around a spindle," from fus "spindle" (going back to Latin fūsus, of obscure origin) + -ee, suffix of association or containment, going back to Late Latin -āta (going back to Latin, feminine of -ātus -ate entry 3)

Note: In the later Middle Ages, French fusée designated a kind of rudimentary gunpowder-filled projectile, apparently resembling thread wound around a spindle—hence the later application to fuses, fireworks, etc.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fusee

Statistics for fusee

Cite this Entry

“Fusee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fusee. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on fusee

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fusee

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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