blow a fuse


2 [fyooz]
Electricity. a protective device, used in an electric circuit, containing a conductor that melts under heat produced by an excess current, thereby opening the circuit. Compare circuit breaker.
verb (used with object), fused, fusing.
to combine or blend by melting together; melt.
to unite or blend into a whole, as if by melting together: The author skillfully fuses these fragments into a cohesive whole.
verb (used without object), fused, fusing.
to become liquid under the action of heat; melt: At a relatively low temperature the metal will fuse.
to become united or blended: The two groups fused to create one strong union.
Chiefly British. to overload an electric circuit so as to burn out a fuse.
blow a fuse, Informal. to lose one's temper; become enraged: If I'm late again, they'll blow a fuse.

1675–85; < Latin fūsus melted, poured, cast, past participle of fundere

2. See melt1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
fuse or fuze1 (fjuːz)
1.  a lead of combustible black powder in a waterproof covering (safety fuse), or a lead containing an explosive (detonating fuse), used to fire an explosive charge
2.  any device by which an explosive charge is ignited
3.  blow a fuse See blow
4.  (tr) to provide or equip with such a fuse
[C17: from Italian fuso spindle, from Latin fūsus]
fuze or fuze1
[C17: from Italian fuso spindle, from Latin fūsus]
'fuseless or fuze1

fuse2 (fjuːz)
1.  to unite or become united by melting, esp by the action of heat: to fuse borax and copper sulphate at a high temperature
2.  to become or cause to become liquid, esp by the action of heat; melt
3.  to join or become combined; integrate
4.  (tr) to equip (an electric circuit, plug, etc) with a fuse
5.  (Brit) to fail or cause to fail as a result of the blowing of a fuse: the lights fused
6.  a protective device for safeguarding electric circuits, etc, containing a wire that melts and breaks the circuit when the current exceeds a certain value
[C17: from Latin fūsus melted, cast, poured out, from fundere to pour out, shed; sense 5 influenced by fuse1]

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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Word Origin & History

1680s, "to melt," back formation from fusion. Figurative sense of "blending of different things" is first recorded 1776. Related: Fused; fusing.

also fuze, 1640s, from It. fuso "spindle" (so called because the originals were long, thin tubes filled with gunpowder), from L. fusus "spindle," of uncertain origin. Influenced by Fr. fusée "spindleful of hemp fiber," and obsolete English fusee "musket fired by a fuse." Meaning of "device that
breaks an electrical circuit" first recorded 1884, so named for its shape, but erroneously attributed to fuse (v.) because it melts.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fuse   (fyz)  Pronunciation Key 

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  1. A safety device that protects an electric circuit from becoming overloaded. Fuses contain a length of thin wire (usually of a metal alloy) that melts and breaks the circuit if too much current flows through it. They were traditionally used to protect electronic equipment and prevent fires, but have largely been replaced by circuit breakers.

  2. A cord of readily combustible material that is lighted at one end to carry a flame along its length to detonate an explosive at the other end.

  1. To melt something, such as metal or glass, by heating.

  2. To blend two or more substances by melting.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

blow a fuse

Also, blow a gasket. Lose one's temper, express furious anger. For example, When his paycheck bounced, John blew a fuse, or Tell Mom what really happened before she blows a gasket. An electric fuse is said to "blow" (melt) when the circuit is overloaded, whereas a gasket, used to seal a piston, "blows" (breaks) when the pressure is too high. The first of these slangy terms dates from the 1930s, the second from the 1940s. Also see blow one's top; keep one's cool.

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