• (British) IPA: /fjuːm/

fume (plural fumes)

  1. A gas or vapour/vapor that is strong-smelling or dangerous to inhale.
    Don't stand around in there breathing the fumes while the adhesive cures.
    • the fumes of new shorn hay
  2. A material that has been vaporized from the solid or liquid state to the gas state and re-coalesced to the solid state.
    Lead fume is a greyish powder, mainly comprising lead sulfate.
  3. Rage or excitement which deprives the mind of self-control.
    the fumes of passion
  4. Anything unsubstantial or airy; idle conceit; vain imagination.
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, A Discourse of a War with Spain
      a show of fumes and fancies
  5. The incense of praise; inordinate flattery.
    • 1638, Robert Burton (scholar), The Anatomy of Melancholy
      to smother him with fumes and eulogies
  6. (obsolete) A passionate person.
Translations Verb

fume (fumes, present participle fuming; past and past participle fumed)

  1. (transitive) To expose (something) to fumes; specifically, to expose wood, etc., to ammonia in order to produce dark tint#Noun|tints.
  2. (transitive) To apply or offer incense#Noun|incense to.
  3. (intransitive) To emit fumes.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 10”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      where the golden altar fumed
    • Silenus lay, / Whose constant cups lay fuming to his brain.
  4. (intransitive) To pass off in fumes or vapours.
    • Their parts are kept from fuming away by their fixity.
  5. (intransitive, figuratively) To express#Verb|express or feel great anger#Noun|anger.
    He’s still fuming about the argument they had yesterday.
    • He frets, he fumes, he stares, he stamps the ground.
    • 1808 February 21, Walter Scott, “(please specify the introduction or canto number, or chapter name)”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: Printed by J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, […]; London: William Miller, and John Murray, OCLC 270129616 ↗:
      Her mother did fret, and her father did fume.
  6. (intransitive, figuratively) To be as in a mist#Noun|mist; to be dull#Verb|dulled and stupefied.
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      Keep his brain fuming.
Translations Translations
  • French: fulminer
  • German: schäumen
  • Italian: rodersi il fegato, mangiarsi il fegato
  • Portuguese: fumegar
  • Spanish: echar humo (colloquial)

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