Definition of fizzle in English:



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  • 1Make a feeble hissing or spluttering sound.

    ‘the strobe lights fizzled and flickered’
    • ‘The lights up and down the street fizzled and popped, their sparks the last bit of light on a suddenly darkened street.’
    • ‘During Ellie's report, the radio fizzled loudly, and a desperate male voice sounded.’
    • ‘Just that quick the light fizzled and she was back in the hall.’
    • ‘The voice fizzled and crackled once more, and everything fell silent.’
    • ‘She lost her race with the lights though, as the last one, far down the path from where she was, flickered twice and fizzled.’
    • ‘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.’
    crackle, sputter, buzz, hiss, crack
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    1. 1.1 End or fail in a weak or disappointing way.
      ‘their threatened revolt fizzled out at yesterday's meeting’
      • ‘Eventually it fizzled out in most of Europe and the US, but the tradition has been kept alive in the Western Isles, as it has in the rural areas of the Deep South.’
      • ‘The 33rd edition of the award fizzled out for many reasons.’
      • ‘When the game fizzled out, so did any hint of animosity.’
      • ‘Following a meeting with threats to withhold council tax payments, the protest fizzled out in the face of an uncompromising council.’
      • ‘Like World Series Cricket itself, the game fizzled out to a draw.’
      • ‘Only two more scores were to be had in the remaining 30 minutes, as all life fizzled out beneath a haze of rain and the glaring floodlights.’
      • ‘World Cup fever in Argentina fizzled out into muted silence as England claimed victory in the latest chapter of a fierce soccer rivalry stretching back decades.’
      • ‘But Scotland's hopes of mounting a meaningful revival and posting a challenging target fizzled out when they lost four more quick wickets.’
      • ‘But these movements all fizzled out, for two reasons.’
      • ‘The anarchist movement fizzled out, so why do they even try?’
      • ‘It soon fizzled out, though the ‘revolt’ in France did lead to some educational reforms.’
      • ‘A golfing boom in one of Europe's richest countries has fizzled out, with half the newly-built Swiss golf clubs crying out for members.’
      • ‘When she returned to Britain, the relationship fizzled out.’
      • ‘The fraud story began to fade about a week ago, fizzling for lack of substance.’
      • ‘During the final half-hour, it fizzled out as a contest, neither side able to break the deadlock.’
      • ‘But, overall, it was vacuous stuff, came to nothing, and fizzled out.’
      • ‘That might not seem like a lofty goal, but after the plans last year fizzled out and the hoped-for inaugural festival was cancelled, it's a realistic one.’
      • ‘However, those protests lacked co-ordination and, once their leaders were arrested, quickly fizzled out.’
      • ‘The two sides remain sharply polarised, and periodic attempts to bridge the wide gulf between them have fizzled out.’
      • ‘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.’
      peter out, die off, blow over, ease off, cool off, let up
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  • 1A feeble hissing or spluttering sound.

    • ‘A fizzle sounded, and everybody turned their heads.’
    • ‘Is one of the most remarkable runs in the history of motorsports going to end with a fizzle rather than a bang?’
    • ‘For a second there was only the electric fizzle, the sounds of hospital life going on in the background.’
    • ‘There was a fizzle, and then a pop, and finally a clattering ring.’
    • ‘So with a damp fizzle and a surprised pop, the monitor died on us.’
    hiss, hissing, buzz, buzzing, crackle, crackling, sputter, sputtering, crack, cracking, white noise
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    1. 1.1 A failure.
      ‘in the end the fireworks were a fizzle’
      • ‘So, to revise the theme of the day, it's a day of fizzles.’
      failure, fiasco, debacle, catastrophe, disaster, blunder
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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.