fizzle out

fizzle

[fiz-uhl]
verb (used without object), fizzled, fizzling.
1.
to make a hissing or sputtering sound, especially one that dies out weakly.
2.
Informal. to fail ignominiously after a good start (often followed by out ): The reform movement fizzled out because of poor leadership.
noun
3.
a fizzling, hissing, or sputtering.
4.
Informal. a failure; fiasco.

Origin:
1525–35; earlier fysel to break wind, frequentative of *fise < Old Norse fīsa to break wind; akin to feist


2. miscarry, collapse, founder.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fizzle (ˈfɪzəl)
 
vb
1.  to make a hissing or bubbling sound
2.  informal (often foll by out) to fail or die out, esp after a promising start
 
n
3.  a hissing or bubbling sound; fizz
4.  informal an outright failure; fiasco
 
[C16: probably from obsolete fist to break wind]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fizzle
1530s, "to break wind without noise," probably altered from obsolete fist, from M.E. fisten "break wind" (see feisty). Related: Fizzled; fizzling. Noun sense of "failure, fiasco" is from 1846, originally U.S. college slang for "failure in an exam."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

fizzle out

Fail, end weakly, especially after a hopeful beginning. For example, The enthusiasm for reform has fizzled out in this state. The word fizzle dates from the early 1500s and meant "to break wind without making noise." Later it was applied to hissing noises, such as those made by wet fireworks, and then to any endeavor that ends in disappointment. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Synonyms
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