Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Smelling of mildew or decay; musty.
  • adj. Old-fashioned; antique.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Moldy or musty.
  • adj. stale-smelling or stuffy.
  • adj. old-fashioned, refusing to change or update.
  • adj. Tasting of the cask.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Moldy; musty; ill-smelling; rank.
  • adj. Moping.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Moldy; musty; ill-smelling; rank; rancid.
  • Moping.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. old-fashioned and out of date
  • adj. stale and unclean smelling

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French fust, piece of wood, wine cask, from Latin fūstis, stick, club.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French fust ("cask") (modern French fût), from Latin fustis ("a cudgel")

Examples

  • The stem snapped in half years ago, and its case is worn, but it still exudes a kind of fusty dignity.

    The uneasy namesake

  • It's become a kind of fusty shtick it conjures up the voices of Carl Kasell and Charles Osgood.

    Haiku Takes To Twitter, 140 Characters At A Time

  • Weds Letters), I would suggest the expression for responding to a post, when even as you're writing, you suspect they just put it there to provoke the kind of fusty response you're now drafting, but you're just too pedantic to stop yourself commenting, should be known as post-imprissionism.

    BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition

  • It affected families too: I had one grandfather at Pearl for the duration as a radio operator while my paternal grandfather, an engineer, no sooner had a rare beer on V-E Day (he was a fusty old lower-middle-class Southern Baptist bigot, a charming grandfather and good with kids, but those other things too in a run of trumps) than he got to spend an extra year in the service rebuilding infrastructure in the Philippines.

    Where we won the War we started by almost losing it

  • It was important to me to demonstrate this, because I anticipated correctly that there'd be a slew of fusty cultural critics -- crushing bores all -- who would clutch their pearls and frantically decry Stewart/Colbert's efforts as "unserious."

    'Rally To Restore Sanity' Critics Unite To Offer America Pretentious Whining

  • As a result, many hotels and restaurants have been dusting off the fusty image of the cigar terrace as the haunt of the lugubrious old gent, and are making stylish, modern spaces, with added attractions such as DJs, cashmere blankets and outdoor fireplaces.

    Dusting Off the Stogie's Stodgy Image

  • What's clear is that the fusty image has gone, and there is an added element of fun to many of the wine rooms.

    The Evolution of the Wine Cellar

  • On Christmas Eve, whilst my parents had gone out to the evening mass, whilst One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing played on the television, I had under the bed to avoid having to kiss her goodnight, to avoid feeling those slobbering lips press my cheek, or to smell the fusty smell of old age.

    Raw « Write Anything

  • The Kings had also chafed at the fusty tropes of legal dramas, chief among them witnesses breaking down on the stand—file under Mason, Perry—and the passionate closing argument that saves the day and saves the defendant's bacon.

    Judges With Temperaments

  • When I was in my early twenties and not at all keen on British classics, which seemed fusty and long-winded to me then, Forster was the only author who saved the day.

    On E M Forster « Tales from the Reading Room

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