Definition of fume in English:

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Pronunciation: /fjuːm/


(usually fumes)
1An amount of gas or vapour that smells strongly or is dangerous to inhale: clouds of exhaust fumes spewed by cars
More example sentences
  • I also have become very ill from inhaling the fumes from the exhaust diesel gases that come from the buses.
  • And inhaling the exhaust fumes is unpleasant and unhealthy.
  • Many said they had smelled strong gas fumes during the explosion.
smoke, vapour, gas, exhalation, exhaust, effluvium, pollution
archaic miasma
1.1A pungent odour of a particular thing: he breathed fumes of wine into her face
More example sentences
  • The shrine room was full of fragrant fumes of agarbathis and camphor and warm with the burning oil lamps.
  • The restaurant is warm and welcoming, an open kitchen fires out heady fumes of garlic, the servers are friendly and helpful, and the prices are great.
  • The fumes of alcohol and tobacco were poisonous.
smell, stink, reek, stench, odour
British informal pong, niff, whiff, hum
Scottish informal guff
North American informal funk
rare fetor, malodour, mephitis


[no object]
1Emit gas or vapour: fragments of lava hit the ground, fuming and sizzling
More example sentences
  • It was sounding like a scratched holodisc right now and smoke was fuming out of it's light receptor.
  • Smoke fumed out from the hood and it looked like that something blew up.
  • Birds, generally, will not tolerate human beings, especially human beings with gigantic clumsy flying machines that fume with black smoke and sound like a flying earthquake.
emit smoke, emit gas, smoke
archaic reek
1.1 [with object] (usually as adjective fumed) Expose (especially wood) to ammonia fumes in order to produce dark tints: the fumed oak sideboard
More example sentences
  • This finish is the effect of steaming, a process that stains the natural red of the oak to a fumed black.
  • The fuming process is used to turn the color of these woods into other shades of yellow and honey-browns.
2Feel, show, or express great anger: he is fuming over the interference in his work
More example sentences
  • Of course there have been times when I have fumed at the end of the phone line when some official gave me an answer I didn't like but as I get older I realise that sometimes the answer has to be ‘No’.
  • Motorists fumed at the blocked roads, rail travellers found many services severely hit and the RAC demanded a public inquiry into the nation's resources for coping with emergency conditions.
  • Residents of the David Murray John Tower fumed at being left out in the cold for an hour after a second 30-year-old lift failed and security guards said they could not allow them to use the stairs.
be furious, be enraged, be angry, seethe, smoulder, simmer, boil, be livid, be incensed, bristle, be beside oneself, spit, chafe;
rage, rant and rave, lose one's temper, lose control, explode, flare up, go berserk, bluster
informal be up in arms, be hot under the collar, be at boiling point, be all steamed up, get steamed up, get worked up, fly off the handle, foam at the mouth, raise the roof, flip one's lid, blow one's top, hit the roof, go up the wall, blow a fuse, see red
British informal spit feathers





adjective (fumier, fumiest)
Example sentences
  • London seems very very fumy but this may be a direct result of my exhaust pipe being knackered… my own personal microclimate of carbon monoxide, ugh.
  • The illumination remains hazy, fumy, ethereal; it comes, it touches everybody and is gone.
  • The exhaust is fed to the casing of the apparatus through the fumy exhaust inlet.


Late Middle English: from Old French fumer (verb), from Latin fumare 'to smoke'.

Words that rhyme with fume

abloom, assume, backroom, bloom, Blum, boom, broom, brume, combe, consume, doom, entomb, exhume, flume, foredoom, gloom, Hume, illume, inhume, Khartoum, khoum, loom, neume, perfume, plume, presume, resume, rheum, room, spume, subsume, tomb, vroom, whom, womb, zoom

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fume

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