fusty was our Word of the Day on 11/03/2014. Hear the podcast!
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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 of fusty from the Web
Chris gave our fusty old magazine a Millennial imprimatur, a bigger budget, and an insider’s knowledge of social media.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of fusty
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonymsfetid, foul, frowsty [chiefly British], frowsy (or frowzy), funky, malodorous, musty, noisome, rank, reeking, reeky, ripe, smelly, stenchy, stinking, stinky, strong
Antonymsambrosial, aromatic, fragrant, perfumed, redolent, savory (also savoury), scented, sweet
Related Wordsputrid, rancid, skunky, stale; bad, disgusting, offensive, repulsive, revolting, vile; decayed, decaying, decomposed, decomposing, rotted, rotten, rotting, spoiled, spoiling; dirty, filthy, nasty, noxious; odiferous, odoriferous, odorous
Near Antonymsflowery, fruity, spicy, woodsy
Synonym Discussion of fusty
- malodorous fertilizers
- prisoners were held in stinking cells
- the fetid odor of skunk cabbage
- a stagnant, noisome sewer
- the putrid smell of rotting fish
- rank cigar smoke
- a fusty attic
- the musty odor of a damp cellar
FUSTY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fusty for English Language Learners
: full of dust and unpleasant smells : not fresh
: very old-fashioned
Seen and Heard
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