Synonym Chooser

How is the word fusty distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of fusty are fetid, malodorous, musty, noisome, putrid, rank, and stinking. While all these words mean "bad-smelling," 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

When can malodorous be used instead of fusty?

While the synonyms malodorous and fusty are close in meaning, malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive.

malodorous fertilizers

Where would noisome be a reasonable alternative to fusty?

The meanings of noisome and fusty largely overlap; however, noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive.

a stagnant, noisome sewer

When is it sensible to use putrid instead of fusty?

The synonyms putrid and fusty are sometimes interchangeable, but putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter.

the putrid smell of rotting fish

When would rank be a good substitute for fusty?

In some situations, the words rank and fusty are roughly equivalent. However, rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell.

rank cigar smoke

How are the words stinking and fetid related as synonyms of fusty?

Both stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting.

prisoners were held in stinking cells
the fetid odor of skunk cabbage


Thesaurus Entries Near fusty

Cite this Entry

“Fusty.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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