One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A conical pulley or wheel, especially in a watch or clock.
- ‘On the 10th of December, when he pledged the coat and waistcoat, I gave him a silver watch for two fuzees, I had them cleaned, and they were sold previous to this being found out.’
- ‘We next observe a flexible chain (artificially wrought for the sake of flexure) communicating the action of the spring from the box to the fusee.’
- ‘The fuzees were all hand made with hand cut gears again increasing the cost over watches made with interchangeable parts.’
2A large-headed match capable of staying lit in strong wind.
- ‘They, the tired and famished ones, bring with them their stock-in-trade, their cigar fuzees, their boot blackers and shiners, and their humble single brushes with which to ‘brush you down, sir,’ for a penny.’
- ‘The fusees had little or no effect in igniting the manzanita.’
- ‘Two fuzees and a gallon of fuel oil turn it into a thundering conflagration towering 40 feet over our heads.’
3North American A railroad signal flare.
- ‘Had the agent, a senior man of 30 years service, had a lit hand lamp handy, or had he lit a fusee to wave a ‘washout’ signal instead of yelling at the passing engines it would likely have turned out differently.’
- ‘Rule 99 provided that fusees be dropped from the caboose if your train could not maintain track speed.’
- ‘The use of radios has pretty much made the flagging use of fusees redundant.’
- ‘Highway flares (fusees) are not registered for use as a pesticide in the state of Arizona.’
- ‘In the event the driver elects to use only fusees or liquid-burning flares in lieu of bidirectional reflective triangles or red flags, the driver must ensure that at least one fusee or liquid-burning flare remains lighted at each of the prescribed locations as long as the commercial motor vehicle is stopped or parked.’
- ‘Orion has been manufacturing automotive and railway flares (fusees) since the 1920s.’
- ‘The holder itself came from another essential railway tool, it was the discarded top of a fusee!’
- ‘Liquid-burning emergency flares, fusees, oil lanterns or a signal produced by a flame may not be carried on a motor vehicle transporting explosives, Class A or Class B; a cargo tank motor vehicle used for the transportation of flammable liquids or flammable compressed gas whether loaded or empty; or a motor vehicle using compressed gas as a motor fuel.’
- ‘The signal fuzee is ignited by a striker attached to the fuzee.’
- ‘Flares, fusees, or signals produced by flame may not be used as warning devices for disabled vehicles of the type mentioned in this subsection.’
- ‘Other problems have occurred such as fusees sticking in ignitor tubes and fusees that fail to ignite.’
- ‘The startled hogger awoke to the sparks of the fuzees and an horrific view of the rear of a train dead ahead and no way to stop in time.’
- ‘Any known means can be used for positioning the ignited fusee on a supporting surface.’
- ‘In the 1970's the two-way radio made a big difference in making up trains and the brakeman were no longer giving signals with lanterns and lighted fuzees.’
- ‘The plunder included a lot of silver ornaments, fuzees and other articles left by the Indians as pledges for their debts.’
- ‘Since they provided their own weapons, the variety was large, from carbines, fowling pieces, buccaneers, muskets and fuzees.’
Late 16th century (denoting a spindle-shaped figure): from French fusée ‘spindle-ful’, based on Latin fusus ‘spindle’.
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