Definition of fuss in English:



  • 1[in singular] A display of unnecessary or excessive excitement, activity, or interest.

    ‘I don't know what all the fuss is about’
    • ‘In the beginning there was so much flurry and fuss.’
    • ‘The management accepted the payment wanting to resolve the matter without excess fuss before the guests checked out.’
    • ‘A cheque submitted without fuss or fanfare would prove their real commitment to the cause but would not, of course, garner as many gushing puff pieces or adoring photographs.’
    • ‘And why, in this case, is there so much fuss over a performer who happens to be white when his lyrical content has been the stock-in-trade of black rappers for a decade and more?’
    • ‘The St Lucian policeman saw her through customs without any fuss, then delivered her to another man in a big car outside the airport compound: her employer.’
    • ‘I am still struggling to take it in but the amount of fuss around me tells me that something pretty damned big has happened!’
    • ‘‘There is no room in my life for drugs, fights, divorce, adultery, sadism, unnecessary fuss and sex,’ he says now.’
    • ‘A lot of unnecessary fuss is being created about the registration procedure required under the bill.’
    • ‘Nothing much ever happens, the inhabitants just get on with everyday life with the minimum of fuss, stress and excitement.’
    • ‘This ludicrous fuss epitomises our confused attitude to official mourning.’
    • ‘That was the whole dream - no excitement, no fuss, no great drama.’
    • ‘And who is likely to benefit from all the fuss and excitement?’
    • ‘However, I don't recall any fuss being made about the over-fishing of North Sea Cod to the degree that there are probably less cod left than there are whales.’
    • ‘They display the sort of heightened fuss and control typical of a man likely to fly apart at any moment.’
    • ‘She appeared bored, and I knew she thought I was making a lot of unnecessary fuss.’
    • ‘After that initial fuss and confusion things calmed down a bit.’
    • ‘Greenough Shire Council agreed to invest $100,000 in a tourism project on Wednesday with little fuss or confusion.’
    • ‘So that in that sense, there was quite a bit of fuss about it at the time, but once the interviews aired, that particular controversy disappeared.’
    • ‘This video shows what happened in Atlanta that is causing all the worry and fuss.’
    • ‘It's all a lot of fuss and nonsense got up by some pesky civil rights activists, some of whom you can find here at Stand.’
    ado, excitement, agitation, uproar, to-do, stir, commotion, confusion, disturbance, tumult, hubbub, rigmarole, folderol, brouhaha, furore, storm in a teacup, much ado about nothing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A protest or dispute of a specified degree or kind.
      ‘he didn't put up too much of a fuss’
      • ‘One woman took up 4 reserved seats with her family and caused a huge fuss when asked to move.’
      • ‘This ‘guardian’ of the environment wasn't even sacked, only suspended (until the fuss died down).’
      • ‘If 20 tonnes of highly radioactive liquefied uranium and plutonium fuel had leaked out of a reprocessing system you'd think there might be a bit of a fuss wouldn't you?’
      • ‘I strongly suspect, although I do not know, that most of the people kicking up the fuss are Protestant or Jewish.’
      • ‘My understanding is you'd like an outside reader's appraisal of its academic merit, as there's been a bit of a fuss about it over there at Athabasca University.’
      • ‘The problem was, I think, that we were arriving at what was probably the back end of it all and that residents of the area had started kicking up a bit of a fuss at being invaded on a yearly basis by hordes of the great unwashed.’
      • ‘Part of this revolution was the news that professional footballers should eat lots of pasta and get to bed early, information that most of them could have got from their parents without all the fuss.’
      • ‘People are forced to take to the streets, organise petitions, write letters and generally make a proper fuss in protest.’
      • ‘In the application that Opel gave to the court, a huge fuss is being made about naming names.’
      • ‘I made a big fuss and I was rewarded with a FREE dye job.’
      • ‘When a player raises a fuss about his contract, he's considered a malcontent.’
      • ‘There's been a media fuss over the use of animals in this circus, but it seems misplaced.’
      • ‘They caused a little fuss, but were soon subdued.’
      • ‘His analysis is that British socialism took a wrong turn in the 1940s, and that the fuss between private and public sector has no place in a party concerned about the ordinary person.’
      • ‘If I had not caused a fuss, it's possible I wouldn't have received it at all.’
      • ‘Don't really see why everyone kicks up such a fuss about how dangerous it is - there's clearly no danger at all, and I certainly haven't become hooked, either.’
      • ‘Insiders revealed that the handsome star was left with no choice but to retract his complaint quickly returned to work without a fuss.’
      • ‘I don't think so (both because I don't think I made much of a fuss, and because there is a real issue here).’
      • ‘This idea was soon quashed as Len didn't want a fuss, and besides it would clash with Rotary's Henley-on-Todd and he had to be there to hand out certificates.’
      protest, complaint, objection
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Elaborate or complex procedures; trouble or difficulty.
      ‘they settled in with very little fuss’
      • ‘We want you to be able to find your way around the newspaper with ease; to be able to locate a particular article or feature story with the minimum fuss.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘From this point on, the bypass was completed with relatively little fuss.’
      • ‘They'll all get you from A to B with a minimum of fuss.’
      • ‘Incidents of civil disobedience are now jointly orchestrated by participants and police so they can be carried out with minimum fuss.’
      • ‘This is partly because I specifically chose a fairly straightforward, low-stress place so I can pursue my volunteer training with minimum fuss.’
      • ‘It names each track, adds it to your library and lets you rate each song or add it to your own folders without any fuss.’
      • ‘The 29-year-old has slotted into Anderson's team with a minimum of fuss after eight months out of football with an Achilles injury.’
      • ‘Comfortable and with the minimum of fuss, St Louis had done more than enough to seal their place in the decider against St Columb's of Derry.’
      • ‘The top-weight shrugged of his impost with the minimum of fuss, easing into the lead with less than four furlongs to go and then scampering away for a seven lengths success.’
      • ‘Everyone knows that using gas appliances is better for the environment, and now there's a local business that can look after all your gas needs with a minimum of fuss.’
      • ‘Basically, it does exactly what it says on the tin with the minimum of fuss and hassle.’
      • ‘Finished one column this morning; composed the other on the way to work, and banged it out with a minimum of fuss and second guessing.’
      • ‘It must be done with the minimum of fuss, but with a broad range of dishes and a good selection of wines.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In a sector full of uncertainty, false starts and expensive delays, their aim is to design and complete attractive commercial enterprises with the minimum of fuss.’
      • ‘Well, we should expect our electrical appliances to become even more sophisticated - tailored to helping us do many of our domestic duties with minimum fuss.’
      • ‘When it's his turn to head up on stage for his sound and lighting check pre-show, he strolls up with minimum of fuss, his guitar the only accompaniment to his outfit of jeans and a loose dark jumper.’
      • ‘With the minimum of fuss, two masseurs, working in unison, applied hot medicated oils over my body and set about the task of coaxing the knots out of my protesting muscles.’
      • ‘There is the strong, silent type, quite happy quietly to immerse himself in his novel environment, settling in gradually with a minimum of fuss.’
      bother, trouble, inconvenience, effort, exertion, labour
      View synonyms


  • 1 Show unnecessary or excessive concern about something.

    ‘she's always fussing about her food’
    • ‘He treated me like a daughter he never had, fussing and worrying about me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's no lawn to mow, no billowy shrubs to prune, few flowers to fuss over.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To spend a few days among the Olympic footballers was to see plainly that the Argentinians enjoyed the democracy of it more than, say, the Italian squad, some of whom fussed about transport and food.’
    • ‘Well, as all offspring know, it is difficult to be assertive with a determined older parent who tells one to stop fussing unnecessarily.’
    • ‘Phil was, at some times, much like an obsessive nanny, always fussing over the cleanliness of the house.’
    • ‘But hardly anyone has fussed about a more practical concern: Some of the more elaborate plate designs make it difficult to read the tag numbers.’
    • ‘Gatherings such as this always made him fuss unusually about his appearance, when he normally did not care.’
    • ‘Even in 2004, though, babies will still cry and demand things and parents will worry and fuss over them, and I intend to maintain that tradition.’
    • ‘I fussed and worried and finally I pressed the send button.’
    • ‘My lovely wife fussed and fretted and told me not to move.’
    • ‘The young nurse is fussing over her husband, who always looks distant and bored.’
    • ‘Mrs. Ellis is the traditional mother hen, always fussing over her little brood.’
    • ‘The ‘sick room’ in our house always had a boarder, over whom my mother would fuss endlessly, soothing a real or imagined fever.’
    • ‘He pulled his old work boots on over his socks, he kept his socks clean because she'd always fussed over him getting a cold from wet socks.’
    • ‘He said that fretting and fussing about rural housing is a very superficial symptom of a much greater and far deeper change the collapse of agriculture.’
    • ‘They were fussing over how worried they'd been.’
    • ‘She pulled weeds that threatened to grow and fussed over the flowers that were about to bloom.’
    • ‘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.’
    worry, fret, be agitated, be worried, take pains, make a big thing out of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Move around or busy oneself restlessly.
      ‘beside him Kelly was fussing with sheets of paper’
      • ‘But the dormouse went fussing about anyway, straightening and re-arranging.’
      • ‘Helen fussed with the sheets on Lee's bed, and then followed Frank to Robert's room.’
      • ‘She bustled around, fussing and fiddling with her clothes.’
      • ‘The puppy fussed with a sheet wrinkle; Mary straightened his sheets in a motherly fashion.’
      • ‘She sat down at the dressing table, the maid fussing with her hair.’
      • ‘They fussed around, re-arranging the altar boys and plumping the bishops' cushions.’
      • ‘You can fuss a little with the lunge whip to move the horse forward but the most important driving aid or pressure is the position of your primary line.’
      • ‘After all, aren't there innumerable warnings out there about how easy it is to mess up your computer by fussing with the registry?’
      • ‘They fussed around, making sure we were comfortable, as we set to work on the red leather-bound menu.’
      • ‘The woman with the walker, obviously the mother, fusses a bit with the walker, unsure whether to lean on it or push it over in the direction of one of the daughters, the one who is now folding away her sunglasses as she speaks.’
      • ‘I screamed and tried to fight, crying in frustration while doctors frantically fussed around me, shouting noises that echoed through my head.’
      • ‘She fussed with her hair, make-up and dress making sure everything was perfect.’
      • ‘Betsy was fussing with the thick curls, artfully twisting them around her fingers to form short ringlets.’
      • ‘I fussed around with buying new glasses at all the major chains, to no success.’
      • ‘After that, waiters in bow ties get busy fussing with silverware and bringing on the hot courses.’
      • ‘Rosa was called to brush my hair dry and Inga fussed around finding a dress that she considered suitable.’
      bustle, dash, rush, scurry, charge, fly
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2British [with object]Disturb or bother (someone)
      ‘when she cries in her sleep, try not to fuss her’
      • ‘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
      View synonyms


Early 18th century: perhaps Anglo-Irish.