fus·​ty | \ ˈfə-stē How to pronounce fusty (audio) \
fustier; fustiest

Definition of fusty

1 British : impaired by age or dampness : moldy
2 : saturated with dust and stale odors : musty
3 : rigidly old-fashioned or reactionary

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Other Words from fusty

fustily \ ˈfə-​stə-​lē How to pronounce fustily (audio) \ adverb
fustiness \ ˈfə-​stē-​nəs How to pronounce fustiness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fusty

malodorous, stinking, fetid, noisome, putrid, rank, fusty, musty mean bad-smelling. malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive. malodorous fertilizers stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting. prisoners were held in stinking cells the fetid odor of skunk cabbage noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive. a stagnant, noisome sewer putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter. the putrid smell of rotting fish rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell. rank cigar smoke fusty and musty suggest lack of fresh air and sunlight, fusty also implying prolonged uncleanliness, musty stressing the effects of dampness, mildew, or age. a fusty attic the musty odor of a damp cellar

Did You Know?

Fusty probably derives from the Middle English word foist, meaning "wine cask," which in turn traces to the Medieval Latin word fustis, meaning "tree trunk" or "wood." So how did fusty end up meaning "old-fashioned"? Originally, it described wine that had gotten stale from sitting in the cask for too long; fusty literally meant that the wine had the "taste of the cask." Eventually any stale food, especially damp or moldy food, was called "fusty." Those damp and moldy connotations were later applied to musty places, and later still to anything that had lost its freshness and interest-that is, to anything old-fashioned.

Examples of fusty in a Sentence

The trunk was full of fusty clothing. couldn't stay too long in the fusty attic without sneezing
Recent Examples on the Web Sports leagues need to get in lockstep with the rest of society and open their creaky, fusty doors to CBD products and even the medicinal use of marijuana to cope with physical pain and mental health issues. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Gronk has a good point: Athletes should be allowed to use CBD," 28 Aug. 2019 Reforms enacted in 2014 by a liberal-leaning government granted many of the venerable but sometimes fusty institutions considerable autonomy. Washington Post, "Will populist politics undo a renaissance at Italy’s Uffizi?," 13 Aug. 2019 So drawing inspiration from movies, from other cool brands that are having experiential events, and pop culture, and bringing it into this space—which, for a while, has felt kind of fusty and old school. Vogue, "Floravere and Over the Moon Toasted Wedding Season With a Summery Soiree in Tribeca," 27 June 2019 Take one of the six charming rooms, filled out with traditional (but not fusty) details—think hardword floors, thick, dark blue curtains, and the occasional fireplace—where you're guaranteed a good night's rest. Paul Oswell, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Charleston," 27 Apr. 2018 Design historian Maureen Footer chronicles how the Enlightenment, Belle Époque, and Empire periods inspired both spaces, effecting a scheme that, with the incorporation of modern elements, felt iconic and inspired rather than tired and fusty. Marley Marius, Vogue, "8 of the Most Swoon-Worthy Interior Design Books Arriving This Fall," 22 Aug. 2018 Kudos to the establishment for discarding that fusty notion about reds being acceptable only with certain foods, whites with others. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Pairings Bistro in Bel Air delivers imaginative food and wine," 21 May 2018 When the Super 8 motel chain underwent a major face lift a couple of years ago, its corporate leaders had some fun with the brand’s old, fusty image. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Goodbye fusty old landscapes: These hotels are more like museums where you can sleep," 2 May 2018 The smell of fusty paper, damp cover binding, obliterated the stink of fast food and electricity. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Luna author Ian McDonald’s heartbreaking new time-travel romance," 31 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fusty.' 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 fusty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fusty

probably alteration of Middle English foisted, foist musty, from foist wine cask, from Anglo-French fust, fuist wood, tree trunk, cask, from Medieval Latin fustis

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

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How to pronounce fusty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fusty

: full of dust and unpleasant smells : not fresh
: very old-fashioned

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to spread as a report or rumor

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