Definition of fizzle in English:


Line breaks: fiz¦zle
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪz(ə)l


[no object]
1Make a feeble hissing or spluttering sound: the strobe lights fizzled and flickered
More example sentences
  • The lights fizzled, and then a loud snap reached everyone's ears and the light just above Darren's head jerked and fell downward in a wild dance.
  • Just that quick the light fizzled and she was back in the hall.
  • She lost her race with the lights though, as the last one, far down the path from where she was, flickered twice and fizzled.
1.1End or fail in a weak or disappointing way: their threatened revolt fizzled out at yesterday’s meeting
More example sentences
  • People associated with the tourist trade say that the tourist boom has fizzled out and occupancy rate has fallen to eight to ten per cent.
  • During the final half-hour, it fizzled out as a contest, neither side able to break the deadlock.
  • But these movements all fizzled out, for two reasons.
tail off, taper off, trail away/off, wither away, grind to a halt;
ebb, wane, wilt;
informal flop, fold, flatline
archaic remit


Back to top  
1A feeble hissing or spluttering sound.
More example sentences
  • For a second there was only the electric fizzle, the sounds of hospital life going on in the background.
  • A fizzle sounded, and everybody turned their heads.
  • There was a fizzle, and then a pop, and finally a clattering ring.
1.1A failure: in the end the fireworks were a fizzle
More example sentences
  • So, to revise the theme of the day, it's a day of fizzles.
failure, fiasco, debacle, catastrophe, disaster, blunder;
British damp squib
informal flop, washout, let-down, botch, hash, foul-up, screw-up, dead loss, dead duck, lead balloon, lemon
British informal cock-up, pig's ear
North American informal snafu, clinker
vulgar slang fuck-up, balls-up


late Middle English (in the sense 'break wind quietly'): probably imitative (compare with fizz), but perhaps related to Middle English fist (see feisty). Current senses date from the 19th century.

Definition of fizzle in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day bimble
Pronunciation: ˈbɪmb(ə)l
walk or travel at a leisurely pace