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 Just over a decade ago, the company hired Alex Carleton, a designer named at the time by GQ and the Council of Fashion Designers of America as one of America’s best new men’s wear designers, to revitalize its fusty image. New York Times, "Storming the Catwalk in an L.L. Bean Boot," 5 Feb. 2020 Like so much about the fusty Senate, even the beverage exceptions are rooted in history. Laurie Kellman, Anchorage Daily News, "Impeachment-weary senators flout behavior guidelines in a chamber that prizes decorum," 23 Jan. 2020 Like so much about the fusty Senate, even the beverage exceptions are rooted in history. Laurie Kellman, BostonGlobe.com, "24 hours in, senators flout quaint impeachment rules," 23 Jan. 2020 Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection Cabo San Lucas is a town full of resorts that are either too fusty, too fancy, or too family-friendly, but Chileno Bay is the rare option that feels both sophisticated and hip. Ann Abel, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Resorts in Mexico: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards," 17 Jan. 2020 Ghosn was brought in to shake up a fusty corporate culture and engineered an incredible turnaround, but his success and grandstanding sowed the seeds of his comeuppance. Jeff Kingston For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Ghosn's dramatic escape could bring much-needed reform to Japanese companies," 17 Jan. 2020 Airplane seats may seem fusty and clunky, but any design that works inside an airplane has to be lightweight and well engineered, especially when your seat can also be used as a flotation device. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The New Airplane Seat That Will Help You Sleep Better," 9 Dec. 2019 This old-school pasticceria has a few locations throughout the city, but this one is the most picturesque, with its charmingly fusty interior and outdoor tables that invite you to sit and linger for a while. Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Locals' Guide to Venice," 4 Sep. 2019 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Fusty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fusty. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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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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