Word of the Day



1. a part of a piece of electrical equipment that makes it stop working when there is too much electricity flowing through it
2. an object like string that burns slowly to make a bomb, firework etc explode
a. a piece of electrical equipment used for exploding a bomb, firework etc from a distance

Origin and usage

The word fuse comes from the Latin word ‘fusus’ meaning ‘spindle’. It first came into use sometime in the 1640s to describe the tubes used to explode a device like a bomb because the shape of these tubes was a long thin cylinder, similar to that of a spindle. Fuse first became associated with electrical circuits in 1884.


The word fuse refers to the part of a bomb or other explosive device that is lit with a flame and burns down until it ignites the explosion. A fuse can also refer to an element in electronic devices that helps carry electricity. Electrical fuses can be found in automobiles, appliances, light fixtures, computers and more. When a fuse is overworked or damaged, the device stops working.

Because fuses are often associated with explosions or with a powerful surge of electricity, many popular sayings include the word fuse and are used to describe a person’s sudden, intense emotional change.

‘Blow a fuse‘ means to react with great anger to someone or something and to lose self-control.

If someone ‘has a short fuse‘ or ‘is on a short fuse‘ they get angry or upset very easily. It is another way to say a person has a bad temper.

‘Light a fuse‘ means to make an event or activity that is dangerous or angry worse.

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

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