Definition of fuss in English:

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Pronunciation: /fʌs/


[mass noun]
1A display of unnecessary or excessive excitement, activity, or interest: I don’t know what all the fuss is about
More example sentences
  • ‘There is no room in my life for drugs, fights, divorce, adultery, sadism, unnecessary fuss and sex,’ he says now.
  • That was the whole dream - no excitement, no fuss, no great drama.
  • She appeared bored, and I knew she thought I was making a lot of unnecessary fuss.
ado, excitement, agitation, uproar, to-do, stir, commotion, confusion, disturbance, tumult, hubbub, rigmarole, folderol, brouhaha, furore, storm in a teacup, much ado about nothing;
upset, worry, bother, row;
fluster, flurry, bustle
informal palaver, hoo-ha, ballyhoo, flap, tizzy, stew, song and dance, performance, pantomime
British informal carry-on, kerfuffle
North American informal fuss and feathers
literary pother
1.1 [in singular] A protest or dispute of a specified degree or kind: he didn’t put up too much of a fuss
More example sentences
  • People are forced to take to the streets, organise petitions, write letters and generally make a proper fuss in protest.
  • I strongly suspect, although I do not know, that most of the people kicking up the fuss are Protestant or Jewish.
  • Insiders revealed that the handsome star was left with no choice but to retract his complaint quickly returned to work without a fuss.
protest, complaint, objection;
grumble, whine;
tantrum, outburst, hysterics;
commotion, trouble
informal grouse, gripe
1.2Elaborate or complex procedures; trouble or difficulty: they settled in with very little fuss
More example sentences
  • Trevor always made them feel welcome in his bank and sorted out their problems with the minimum of fuss, winning him many new and satisfied customers.
  • However, it is simple to mix and may conveniently be started the night before with a minimum of fuss needed to complete it the next day.
  • Basically, it does exactly what it says on the tin with the minimum of fuss and hassle.
bother, trouble, inconvenience, effort, exertion, labour
informal hassle


[no object]
1Show unnecessary or excessive concern about something: she’s always fussing about her food
More example sentences
  • He's a real pain because he's always fussing annoyingly about books and cars and his appearance, but my friends think he's cool.
  • My Aunt pointed out to me that we always fuss over Dad, but Mum's health isn't great, and it suffers along with my Dad's when something is wrong with him.
  • It's just that, because she's always been there; fussing and cleaning and polishing, I don't even think about what happens to those mud-stains.
worry, fret, be agitated, be worried, take pains, make a big thing out of;
make a mountain out of a molehill
informal get worked up, be in a flap, flap, be in a tizzy, be in a stew, make a meal of, make a (big) thing of
1.1Busy oneself restlessly: beside him Kegan was fussing with sheets of paper
More example sentences
  • They fussed around, re-arranging the altar boys and plumping the bishops' cushions.
  • They fussed around, making sure we were comfortable, as we set to work on the red leather-bound menu.
  • I screamed and tried to fight, crying in frustration while doctors frantically fussed around me, shouting noises that echoed through my head.
bustle, dash, rush, scurry, charge, fly;
tear around, buzz around, run round in circles
1.2 [with object] British Disturb or bother (someone): when she cries in her sleep, try not to fuss her
More example sentences
  • It does not fuss me one way or tother, but if they are truly confidential I will want them uplifted and removed.
pester, disturb, harass;
irritate, annoy, vex, bother, nag
informal hassle
1.3 [with object] Treat (someone) with excessive attention or affection: she flattered and fussed her
More example sentences
  • On his way back to the house he stopped by the barn to fuss the mother cat and introduce himself to the kittens.
  • Everyone on the show adores him and men and women were queuing up to fuss him.
  • Freya crouched down and fussed her, not minding her face being licked enthusiastically.



make a fuss

Become angry and complain: I thought Mum might make a fuss but she was in a good mood she’d made a big fuss about not having a Brownie uniform
More example sentences
  • Because I then felt, as a result of making a fuss, or complaining, or wishing to seek that the situation be addressed, I then suffered victimisation.
  • ACT's response is that she shouldn't have made a fuss or complained, for fear of damaging the party.
  • If the bombing had happened in Liverpool the inhabitants would be out in the street, moaning and wailing and making a fuss.

make a fuss over (or British of)

Treat (a person or animal) with excessive attention or affection: their grandmother made such a fuss of them
More example sentences
  • Nor does he display too much affection or make a fuss over them.
  • ‘She's quiet and quite shy, and loves to be stroked and made a fuss of,’ said owner Margaret Brown.
  • I was thoroughly pampered and made a fuss of, and although I'm not quite sure how I got so lucky or deserving, I loved every minute of it.



Pronunciation: /ˈfʌsə/
Example sentences
  • The tidiers, the cleaners, the fussers, the preeners - they are only running toward an early demise.
  • They have looked after all sorts of children: sniffers, fussers, sneaky and bad tempered ones.
  • Her approach to life is direct and she can also be pessimistic, critical and something of a fusser.


Early 18th century: perhaps Anglo-Irish.

  • fuzz from late 16th century:

    If you are ‘caught by the fuzz’ you are arrested by the police. This fuzz is a different word from the one that means ‘a frizzy mass’, and may be a form of fuss, from the idea of the police ‘making a fuss’. It has been used since the 1920s and originated in the USA. The other fuzz entered English in the late 17th century, probably from Dutch or German, although fuzzy is recorded earlier, in around 1600, when it meant ‘spongy’. Fuzzy logic is a form of logic in which a statement can be partially true or false rather than having to be absolutely one or the other.

Words that rhyme with fuss

bus, buss, concuss, cuss, Gus, huss, muss, plus, pus, Russ, sus, suss, thus, truss, us

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fuss

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