Definition of sizzle in US English:



[no object]
  • 1(of food) make a hissing sound when frying or cooking.

    ‘the bacon began to sizzle in the pan’
    • ‘By the time my dad woke up and walked into the kitchen I had a frying pan with bacon and sausage sizzling on one ring of the range, and another with four eggs frying.’
    • ‘Bacon is sizzling in the pan, and toast pops up from the toaster.’
    • ‘The mushrooms sizzled invitingly as Kathryn tucked into a garlic-soaked slice of Italian bread.’
    • ‘We hear sizzling and other happy sounds emanating from the kitchen.’
    • ‘The showers have paused and the sun brushes the patio as the steaks and sausages sizzle on the grill.’
    • ‘If the butter sizzles loudly and melts and bubbles quickly, the pan is ready.’
    • ‘He carries on conversations with everybody, tools in hand, one eye always on the manly meats sizzling under his command.’
    • ‘The brownish mush in the pan was beginning to sizzle.’
    • ‘The bap was delivered to our table with the bacon still sizzling from the pan.’
    • ‘Bacon is sizzling in the pan, scrabbled eggs are on and the champagne is ready to be uncorked.’
    • ‘The weather was good as the steaks sizzled away on the giant barbeque grills along side baked jacket potatoes.’
    • ‘Cast iron pots and pans steamed and sizzled on the wood-fired stovetop.’
    • ‘This dish consisted of cubes of fresh tuna almost sizzling in a tangy sauce of tomatoes, red and green peppers, onions, garlic and potatoes, with a hint of wine to give it added zest.’
    • ‘The grapes sizzled, sputtered, and melted into syrup, basting and braising the sausages in their bubbling juices.’
    • ‘We can smell bacon and beans sizzling on an open fire next to a chuck wagon.’
    • ‘And I promise there is no finer aroma than breakfast bacon and eggs sizzling contentedly in a pan as you take the first, fresh look at the day over England's finest countryside or seascapes.’
    • ‘He has never eaten meat (or anything connected to it) his entire life. I asked him if he gets hungry when he smells hamburger or steak sizzling, and he said no.’
    • ‘Large sausages sizzled in a covered tray, and at the end of the line was a stack of hot buttered toast.’
    • ‘Heat until the butter sizzles and is the colour of hazelnuts.’
    • ‘There was a pad of sausage and bacon, sizzling on an open grill, setting off the smell of sweet scented pork.’
    crackle, frizzle, sputter, hiss, spit, fry
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    1. 1.1informal Be very hot.
      ‘we sizzled in blazing sunshine this week’
      • ‘Well, seething, sizzling and scorching, soaring temperatures are causing another day of misery across much of the country.’
      • ‘Could bubbles be the way to go when it's sizzling outdoors?’
      • ‘Saturday's sizzling temperature - 43°C in Lismore - made conditions difficult.’
      • ‘Dave Strachan is one of 22 forecasters at the Met Office in Stockport behind the predictions of blue skies and sizzling temperatures.’
      • ‘Yesterday's sizzling temperatures look set to continue for at least the next few days, with forecasters predicting highs of 90F in many Yorkshire cities today and tomorrow.’
      • ‘It's summer down here at the moment & it's sizzling hot!’
      • ‘As youngsters, they can even handle the heat of California's sizzling San Bernardino and Imperial valleys.’
      extremely hot, red-hot, unbearably hot, baking, baking hot, blazing, flaming, fiery, burning, scorching, blistering, searing, sweltering, torrid, tropical, like an oven, like a furnace, like a blowtorch
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    2. 1.2informal Be very exciting or passionate, especially sexually.
      ‘they simply sizzle as their affair develops’
      • ‘Now can I just say that if you are getting down with it on a regular basis and the passion is sizzling, then you can't really be having a problem in your marriage then can you?’
      passionate, torrid, amorous, ardent, sexy, lustful, erotic
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  • 1A hissing sound, as of food frying or cooking.

    ‘the sizzle of hot dogs’
    • ‘Be sure to admire the crown of mussels, and listen for the sizzle before digging in.’
    • ‘Heat on top of the stove to a good sizzle, season well and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.’
    • ‘Ashwood instinctively tossed the cigarette to the ground ignoring the sizzle as it landed in a puddle at his feet.’
    • ‘She goes into the kitchen and I hear the sizzle of ham competing with the murmur of talk from the other room where I've already heard a fellow praying, leading prayer.’
    • ‘First there was a sizzle, and then, when the batter had succumbed to the intense heat from the gas flame below, only a few intermittent whistles escaped along with wisps of fragrant vapor.’
    • ‘There was a sizzle as Jack poured the batter onto the griddle.’
    • ‘Two hours later I heard the sizzle of food being cooked.’
    • ‘One last stir over maximum heat to restore the sizzle and the meat was ready to turn straight onto heated plates.’
    • ‘Quickly he smoked it until it was just a butt, which he tossed into the toilet bowl where it extinguished with a sizzle.’
    • ‘The noise in the kitchen was almost deafening, filled with the shouts of cooks, the clatter of pans, the hissing sizzle of some food deep-frying.’
    • ‘From over the noise of hammering and the sizzle of molten metal striking water, he heard a faint answering call.’
    • ‘Long summer nights can be vastly improved by the addition of a slow sizzle and clouds of aromatic smoke, no matter what the neighbours might think.’
    1. 1.1informal A state or quality of great excitement or passion.
      ‘a dance routine with lots of sizzle’
      • ‘Because I saw it piece by piece, it lost some of its sizzle, but I still thought it was a good movie.’
      • ‘They may not be glamorous or have a lot of sizzle, but they work.’
      • ‘Plasma TVs dazzled us last year, but they've lost their sizzle.’
      • ‘His speed and fresh legs will bring some much-needed sizzle to the offense.’
      • ‘Lisa's vivacity and sense of humour help put sizzle into this segment.’
      • ‘But what good reporting lacks in sizzle is made up for in authenticity.’
      • ‘In a place dominated by Olympic-sized egos, he was always one of the quiet ones, a guy without much sizzle, the kind of guy most of us in the news media usually ignored.’
      • ‘I can promise members that there is no sizzle about this bill.’
      • ‘One way to add some sizzle to your products is to tie them to a trend - even when it's based on a product that's not your own.’
      • ‘The problem was, like every other guy she'd dated in the past fifteen years, there'd been no sizzle between them.’
      • ‘A famous scene between them intercuts their developing romance with fireworks and is pure sizzle.’
      • ‘A good issue, but this is not a magazine with a lot of sizzle and budget so it can't help but feel like a beefed up fanzine at times.’
      • ‘It is short on sizzle, but generous with the steak.’
      • ‘We live in an age of sizzle over substance, of hyping everything to the point of utter annoyance.’
      • ‘Why not put some extra sizzle into this season's holiday?’
      • ‘She is known for stories with strong visual narratives, interesting secondary characters, accurate historical detail and love scenes with lots of sizzle.’
      • ‘A way of adding extra sizzle without increasing credit risk is to invest in local currency issues.’
      • ‘It's just amazing that a station wagon can pack so much sizzle and excitement in its look and stance.’
      • ‘Yes, the team can run the ball, but there isn't much sizzle in the passing game.’
      • ‘For all its sizzle, it has, after twelve years, been unable to become much more than a rich man's diversion.’


Early 17th century: imitative.