short fuse


: a tendency to get angry easily : a quick temper
… was seen as the bad guy, the one whose short fuse was scary, destructive and uncontrollable. Rick Telander
short-fused adjective
… a fiery and short-fused 30-year-old driver as well known for tantrums and bad behavior as he is for being the best rookie in history … The New York Times

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Maybe Beth has a real moment of reckoning for having such a short fuse and being such a liability just about everywhere. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 21 Nov. 2022 Inflation expectations were backward-looking, but with a very short fuse. How To Save A Country, The New Republic, 17 Nov. 2022 And similar to the source text, the series will equally be driven by the lead’s hot temper and short fuse. Ben Croll, Variety, 26 Sep. 2022 The psychic load of a global pandemic, social and political upheaval, economic instability and vague rumblings of a world war have created a situation where even the most placid among us can have a short fuse. Kate Murphy, WSJ, 29 May 2022 Everyone should be wary of making too much of any one loss but the new regime at FC Cincinnati will need to get comfortable with a collectively short fuse within the fan base. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 28 Feb. 2022 That seems noteworthy even if our national political climate is the leading culprit for why many folks seem to have a short fuse. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Feb. 2022 Longtime Twins executive George Brophy, the Millers general manager in 1959, always had the explanation for Mauch's short fuse on that 4th. Star Tribune, 3 July 2021 Strategic warning can be something that is relatively short fuse, like will the North Koreans invade South Korea in 1950? CBS News, 13 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'short fuse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of short fuse was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near short fuse

Cite this Entry

“Short fuse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

short fuse


: a tendency to get angry easily
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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