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

  • intransitive v. To make the hissing sound characteristic of frying fat.
  • intransitive v. To seethe with anger or indignation.
  • intransitive v. To be very hot: a summer day that sizzled.
  • n. A hissing sound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to make the sound of water hitting a hot surface
  • v. to be exciting or dazzling
  • n. the sound of water hitting a hot surface
  • n. zing, zip, or pizazz; excitement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To make a hissing sound; to fry, or to dry and shrivel up, with a hissing sound.
  • n. A hissing sound, as of something frying over a fire.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a hissing or sputtering sound, as a liquid when effervescing or acted on directly by heat; make a sound as of frying.
  • To dry and shrivel up with hissing by the action of fire.
  • To be very hot, as if hissing or shriveling.
  • To dry or burn with or as if with a hissing sound: sometimes followed by up.
  • n. A hissing or sputtering sound.
  • n. Extreme heat, as of a summer day.

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

  • v. make a sound like frying fat
  • v. seethe with deep anger or resentment
  • n. a sizzling noise
  • v. burn or sear with a sizzling sound


Perhaps frequentative of Middle English sissen, to hiss, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • My brother uses this term to mean 'get a song stuck in someone else's head." If you sizzle someone, you've given them your earworm. It's mostly done intentionally, humming a tune near someone, but it might also just be stuck in your head, and giving it to someone else exorcises it from you. Or it gets the two of you stuck in a self-reinforcing loop.

    You can sizzle yourself if you pick up an object and a song gets stuck in your head. Working in an energy-efficient appliances incentive program, I saw General Electric and Frigidaire a lot. Every new application for the first month, I'd get sizzled by Insane in the Membrane by Cypress Hill "General Electric, ey the lights are blinking" or Two Sleepy People "picking on a wishbone from the Frigidaire."

    Feel free to use this term if you find it useful.

    September 22, 2015

  • Hey! Word it up, dude.

    October 17, 2011

  • "We sell the sizzle, not the steak."

    January 20, 2007