from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To make a hissing or sputtering sound.
- intransitive v. Informal To fail or end weakly, especially after a hopeful beginning.
- n. Informal A failure; a fiasco.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To sputter or hiss.
- v. To decay or die off to nothing; to burn out; to end less successfully than previously hoped.
- n. A spluttering or hissing sound.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To make a hissing sound.
- intransitive v. To make a ridiculous failure in an undertaking, especially after a good start; to achieve nothing.
- n. A failure or abortive effort; a fiasco.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make a hissing sound; hiss or sputter, as a liquid or gas forced out of a narrow aperture, or a liquid discharging gas, or a wet combustible, as wood or gunpowder, burning: usually with special reference to the weakness and sudden diminution or cessation of such sound.
- Hence To stop abruptly after a more or less brilliant start; come to a sudden and lame conclusion; fail ignominiously; specifically, in school and college slang, to fail in a recitation or an examination: often with out: as, the undertaking promised well, but it soon fizzled out; nearly the whole class fizzled in calculus.
- To break wind.
- In school and college slang, to examine (a student) with the result of failure on his part: as, the professor fizzled nearly the whole class.
- n. Same as fizz, 2.
- n. A fizzling or fizzing condition; hence, a state of restless agitation; a stew; worry: as, he is in a fizzle about his luggage.
- n. A breaking wind.
- n. A failure or an abortive effort; in particular, in school and college slang, a failure in a recitation or an examination.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. end weakly
- n. a complete failure
- n. a fricative sound (especially as an expression of disapproval)
Probably from obsolete fise, a breaking wind, from Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse fīsa, to break wind.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Attested in English since 1525-35. From earlier fysel ("to fart"). Related to fīsa ("to fart"). Compare with fisa ("to fart (silently)"). See also feist. (Wiktionary)