Main definitions of fuzz in English

: fuzz1fuzz2

fuzz1

noun

  • 1A frizzy mass of hair or fibre:

    ‘a fuzz of black hair’
    [mass noun] ‘his face was covered with white fuzz’
    • ‘His name was Stephen, and he had a short white fuzz of hair, and an auburn sheen to his fur.’
    • ‘They had got him already, but nothing more than a tall, lanky man who wore average clothes and had very short black hair, almost bald, if not for the fuzz that kept his head minimally covered.’
    • ‘The seabed under the arch is covered in large boulders 18m below, all covered in an algal fuzz that is home to large numbers of wrasse, bream and spiny starfish.’
    • ‘The guy might have been handsome except for his blond hair which had been cut to a short fuzz and there was a scar on his face.’
    • ‘Here and there in the luxurious fuzz of newly grown grass, you might spot rusted tools and stuffed animals in various states of decomposition.’
    • ‘A young man, tan-skinned, with his hair shorn down to a round fuzz, opened the passenger door.’
    • ‘Powdery mildew causes a grayish white fuzz on new leaves and flower buds.’
    • ‘Her eyes, which were now closing, were a beautiful sea green color, and a soft yellow fuzz already covered the top of her head.’
    • ‘The sunken cheeks were covered with a thin scattering of fuzz; the hair was lank and matted.’
    • ‘Even his trademark shaven head is covered in a soft brown fuzz of hair.’
    • ‘Boston's got a heavier, wetter snow than Vermont where it was a lot colder and the snow removal up there was akin to blowing on a dandelion puff of little white fuzz and all of the little parachute seeds scatter.’
    • ‘She pursed her pink, rosebud lips as her brown eyes landed on a fuzz of chestnut-brown hair, which belonged to an athletic looking young man.’
    • ‘He smiled and scratched at his very short cropped hair, more like fuzz, and waved.’
    • ‘He too had blonde hair, but not much, only a little fuzz.’
    • ‘The result is obvious: The slopes surrounding the villages are covered with a green fuzz of young, skinny pines.’
    • ‘The Jerusalem artichokes are covered with a white fuzz.’
    • ‘The baby had crystal blue eyes like her mother, and a little fuzz of raven black hair like her parents.’
    • ‘She still wore a bright red kerchief, and there were little bits of fabric fuzz clinging to her hair.’
    • ‘Waxing, sugaring and threading (used for fuzz and fine hairs) are large-scale versions of plucking.’
    • ‘I looked down the path, and I could see the black fuzz of the forest on the horizon.’
    hair, fluff, fur, down, floss, fine hair
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A blurred image:
      ‘she saw Jess surrounded by a fuzz of sunlight’
      • ‘Looking up, Ashton noticed that the boy was handsome, something the phone didn't quite pick up well, for fuzz had been distorting the screen.’
      • ‘Everything above her seemed to twist and blur before turning back to the normal fuzz that she was used to.’
      • ‘But eventually, having developed techniques to mask the light, astrophysicists were able to detect fuzz surrounding some of the dimmer quasars.’
      • ‘The tree of heaven opposite the church of Saints Peter and Paul was still entombed deep inside its branches but the faintest yellow-green fuzz had begun to blur the outline of willows on the banks of the River Vistula.’
      • ‘JPL continues to interpret the data, which is no mean feat since, according to Dr Hensley, the radar images in their purest state ‘look like fuzz on a television set’.’
      • ‘There was a dull fuzz in her head, images tried to form, secrets whispered gently at the edge of her consciousness but she pushed them aside unsure of her readiness to hear such things.’
      • ‘The sea is glassy, frozen into blurry fuzz by time. I want to leave all this and play drums for some semi-famous group.’
      • ‘Some episodes show hardly a scratch or blotch on the print, but some (especially ‘Heart of Steel’) have quite a bit of grain and fuzz on the picture.’
      • ‘I gesture outside the door, then gaze up at the blue-grey fuzz of images on the bank of security monitors in front of Don.’
      • ‘Though there are imperfections throughout the image (including some nasty edge fuzz and halos), generally speaking the picture is in much better shape than I anticipated.’
  • 2A buzzing or distorted sound, especially one deliberately produced as an effect on an electric guitar.

    • ‘The mysterious noise-rock quartet make jagged, fearsome monoliths of fuzz and distortion that terrorize with ear-bleeding volume and, once in a very rare while, flirt with hummability.’
    • ‘The fuzz is extinguished midway through the song to allow the clarity of the acoustic guitar to shine through.’
    • ‘Perhaps tired of being another Swedish retro garage band, Caesars trade in the guitar fuzz for danceable pop-rock on this release.’
    • ‘It opens modestly enough with a light fuzz and some shifting.’
    • ‘Stripped of the atmospheric fuzz, his music is so expansive and complex that it borders on symphonic.’
    • ‘But spread out over a 10-minute wall of fuzz and riffs, it starts to ramble.’
    • ‘Unlike other strange fuzzes of its kind, the Uglyface can handle chords decently with the right settings.’
    • ‘The guitar is inspiring, churning out power fuzzes and the odd neat riff.’
    • ‘The opening track's menacing buzz may suggest some broad departure, but the warm, familiar fuzzes fasten the fate of the rest of the album as comfortably as Velcro.’
    • ‘Side A (both tracks are untitled) starts out with sputters and belches and general electronic fuzz, like a spacecraft trying to turn over, but ultimately stalled in space's void.’
    • ‘Andy Gill kept his guitar chilly, without the blanket of fuzz provided by effects pedals and the agreeable tone of valve amps.’
    • ‘The fuzz sounds like a hammer hitting sheet metal.’
    • ‘If you're familiar with the band's first album, you'll find yourself longing for the harsh fuzz of blown-out guitar.’
    • ‘For a few odd and unsettling moments, the song hovers on its own, left virtually untouched except for the subtle fuzz of static in the background.’
    • ‘In fact, I can honestly say I hated and despised the sound of fuzzes that I had heard.’
    • ‘And it does, eventually climaxing into a churning maelstrom of distorted fuzz.’
    • ‘But that track also has a midsection scored by the hot fuzz of an electric guitar, illustrating Honda's longstanding flair for odd assemblage.’
    • ‘With the almost inaudible drums barely maintaining a recognisable rhythm, loops, clicks and disembodied sounds build inside the mass as the lead moves in and out of the drone, always threatening to sink right into the fuzz.’
    • ‘Howl is predominantly acoustic, but so sopped with fuzz and echo that it actually manages to sound much bigger than it is.’
    • ‘Electronic fuzz oscillates in the background, as Matters sways in and out of a lilting tune, lines like ‘We played hide and seek in waterfalls’ sharing the same melodic cadence as the album title.’
    distortion, buzz, hiss, fizz, buzzing, hissing, fizzing, white noise
    View synonyms

verb

  • 1Make or become blurred or indistinct:

    [with object] ‘snow fuzzes the outlines of the signs’
    [no object] ‘her head fuzzed and the classroom swam’
    • ‘In this way, you can capture an outbound query, alter or fuzz it and then send it along to the server.’
    • ‘The connection fuzzed briefly, then came in, ‘Yeah?’’
    • ‘This scene only lasts for five seconds before fuzzing up and changing back to the morning scene.’
    • ‘A lot of people will be getting their election news from the Internet, but what we really want is for them to get it direct from the campaign, by email, so the message doesn't get fuzzed by those pesky media, right?’
    • ‘They need their own platform, not one just based on fuzzing the two majors' positions together in the name of moderation.’
    • ‘He deserved to have his heart broken, and even five years later, the memories of high school beginning to blur and fuzz in my head, I knew I'd done a pretty good job of it.’
    • ‘Sheehan was reading the papers at the breakfast table one summer Sunday when the upper right-hand quadrant of his vision began to blur and fuzz as if he were adjusting an old TV.’
    • ‘He said nothing as he took his horse's reins and mounted up, the pain causing sparks to flash behind his eyes and his vision to fuzz a little around the edges.’
    • ‘The line was fuzzed over with static for a while, then it came back.’
    • ‘The team also devised a new rule for the low-resolution automaton that would lead to the same long-term behavior as the original automaton if it were fuzzed at the end.’
    • ‘The ‘ghost’ refers to the large aperture which fuzzes out, or ghosts, when you focus on the front sight.’
    • ‘Add some nasty production, have the vocals hiss and fuzz when the vocalist sings loud, or intense, or high, and make the vocals dominate all the other instruments.’
    • ‘She could easily be dead in minutes, and the pain was starting to fuzz her edges of awareness.’
    • ‘My thoughts were fuzzing up and I thought I was going to fall.’
    • ‘They will return to their partisan duties with a sense of disquiet that will slightly but surely fuzz the intensity of their focus.’
    • ‘The screen began to crackle, the picture fuzzed and snowed, as the power in the house began to flux.’
    • ‘My hypoxic brain fuzzed the question around until suddenly the trail spit out onto an open field, and the finish was only a few hundred good old English yards away.’
    • ‘You can fuzz the edges and try and see it in different lights, but the fact is that you are paying for sex.’
    • ‘Both albums relish shimmering percussion tracks and blindingly reflective surface washes, whereas others in the alliance fuzz everything out in a glowering haze.’
    • ‘His face fuzzed, blurred and then disappeared completely.’
  • 2[no object] (of hair) become frizzy:

    ‘her hair fuzzed out uncontrollably in the heat’

Origin

Late 16th century: probably of Low German or Dutch origin; compare with Dutch voos, Low German fussig spongy.

Pronunciation:

fuzz

/fʌz/

Main definitions of fuzz in English

: fuzz1fuzz2

fuzz2

noun

the fuzz
informal
  • The police:

    ‘Keep down! It's the fuzz!’
    • ‘That, coupled with the mere mention of suicide bombing in her essay, was enough to put the fuzz on high alert.’
    • ‘However, if you are foolish enough to have lots of pirate goodies in your suitcase when arriving at the airport or crossing a border post, expect to have an entertaining and potentially expensive interview with the fuzz.’
    • ‘Maybe the fuzz got onto Neal through Jack's book.’
    • ‘This overwhelmingly excellent news was somewhat dented by the further revelation that she could collect the body anytime from the mortuary, but that was hardly the fault of the fuzz.’
    • ‘But the fuzz won't let Sonny fill his antisocial, autonomous dance card.’
    • ‘Instead of letting them march, though, the fuzz split them off into ever-smaller enclaves of ever-more-frustrated would-be street-marchers.’
    • ‘Hopping from heist to heist, with the fuzz getting ever closer, the rivalry that has flared escalates and the cracks in this already untenable threesome begin to widen.’
    • ‘They also plan on dodging any more run-ins with the fuzz.’
    • ‘You shoulda left her in the parking lot and called the fuzz.’
    • ‘We could be in front of the tour van, finding spots for the guys ahead of time, creating diversions to keep the fuzz out of our way.’
    • ‘It wound up being right across from a police station, and after a little while the fuzz came out and told us to move.’
    • ‘There was no way the fuzz would put a stop to my plans this time.’
    • ‘Pretty soon the fuzz would get suspicious or it'd turn itself back on through emergency programming.’
    • ‘It seemed to take forever before the cops, the fuzz, the pigs finally turned and moved single file over the low barrier, back towards that awful blaze, empty-handed and without a perpetrator.’
    • ‘When viewed at a glance, most individuals probably think that one rat won't squeal on another for the sake of a deal at the hands of the fuzz.’
    • ‘But for Jim, it seemed that the fuzz - sorry, man, pigs - were here.’
    • ‘It's up to the fuzz to put a stop to all the group groping.’
    • ‘‘Shh, don't tell the fuzz,’ Hugh was saying in a stage whisper as she passed.’
    • ‘We'd planned to go to the court house tomorrow to prove we were engaged so the fuzz would get off our backs and quit calling to ‘remind’ us to bring the proof…’
    • ‘To find out who uses a radar detector to avoid the fuzz, we turned to New York City-based Simmons Market Research.’

Origin

1920s (originally US): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

fuzz

/fʌz/