Definition of fusty in English:


adjectivefustier, fustiest

  • 1Smelling stale, damp, or stuffy.

    ‘the fusty odour of decay’
    • ‘I also parted with a large sum of money and came away with a 7 tightly wrapped bags containing a week's supply of something that smells old, fusty and a bit mouldering.’
    • ‘The ancient chairs and the stage area give out a fusty smell.’
    • ‘Yes, they may be a little fusty and they may smell of beer, but at least that won't give you cancer.’
    • ‘Nor does it give any impression of the sights and sounds of the underground, the warm fusty smell, the rattle of trains and the queues at the ticket machines and the crush at the ticket barriers.’
    • ‘He had expected her to smell fusty, like Caramel, but her breath was no more sour than any human's.’
    • ‘It smelled fusty inside, like a greenhouse that doesn't see much use.’
    • ‘The room was filled with an unpleasant smell of cold cigarette smoke, of left-overs from lunch and of fusty mouldering stuff.’
    • ‘As darkness fell and Christmas lights came on in windows we would drive from one fusty home to another, greeting impossibly old and decaying and undoubtedly lonely people.’
    • ‘The dog stunk from across the room, fusty, like an old armchair left on the porch, and Ruth figured the dog hadn't passed gas before in the car; she'd simply smell like this forever.’
    • ‘By week four, my handbag was coated in mould - not quite that season's shade - and my clothes had taken on that fusty scent so beloved of 1960s hippies.’
    • ‘Gone are the ancient vats and fusty old barrels.’
    • ‘The museum - the family's former residence - is brown, fusty and lifeless.’
    • ‘Then I was sprinkled from neck to toe with warm and fusty vegetation.’
    • ‘I was fed with a very full and appetising meal, which was fortunately not too rich for my weakened state, my body was cleaned and my filthy, fusty clothes were replaced by crisp clean laundry-smelling ones.’
    stuffy, musty, stale, stagnant, airless, unventilated, close, suffocating, oppressive, mouldering
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    1. 1.1Old-fashioned in attitude or style.
      ‘grammar in the classroom became a fusty notion’
      • ‘There's nothing musty or fusty about a passion for old, rare, or out-of-print books, Janette insists.’
      • ‘A growing number of abolitionists say it intimidates newcomers to court, gives self-importance to those who officiate there and makes the justice system look fusty, out of touch and just a little ridiculous.’
      • ‘Those vulnerable to infection perhaps need to understand that this is not just fusty old adults trying to stop their fun.’
      • ‘There was a fondness for what was seen as a fusty old English brand.’
      • ‘After all, she's on the winning team, the team whose players are slowly but surely turning the Top 40 into their personal dominion, banishing adult music fans to the fusty environs of the album chart.’
      • ‘It suited a society that wanted a select few to pursue the life of the mind, through immersing themselves in such fusty subjects as Classics or philosophy, while everybody else did something less useless instead.’
      • ‘In it, he said that the sight of the marchers being welcomed into ‘the fusty belch-filled dining rooms’ of exclusive London clubs was a reminder of reasons for voting Labour.’
      • ‘The fusty literary empire became impregnable.’
      • ‘I'm going to try real, real hard to not be especially cynical - nothing's worse than a fusty, cranky sourpuss who was there when it really mattered.’
      • ‘She has lifted circulation from 64,000 to around 68,000 in her first year, by bringing in a less fusty design, more features and columns, and even a number of gossip columns.’
      • ‘The old Westminster House is fusty and the benches - and they are benches, not individual seats - were half filled by lounging figures in frowsty suits.’
      • ‘The Windsor, the oldest five-star hotel in Australia, at first can seem fusty and a little conservative, but she soon comes alive with the stories told about her.’
      • ‘It's as if Nancy Mitford had transplanted her cynical eye from fusty English aristocrats in the 1930s to New York's nouveau riche in the 1990s.’
      • ‘Apparently some fusty Brits thought this was the most rib-tickling piece of rubbish-talking they'd ever heard.’
      • ‘Now, that is spiritual guidance, you fusty old Scottish cardinals bleating on about the evils of fornication and alienating everyone under 100.’
      • ‘Basically, this turns out to be another of the prince's reactionary discourses on why modern life isn't as it should be - which is to say, not to his fusty tastes.’
      • ‘Its main collection is housed in the Hawaiian Hall, an 1889 stone building whose galleries are as fusty as the century they were built in.’
      • ‘Why, then, will publishers countenance huge spending on book launches when adult authors are lucky to get away with not paying for their own white wine in some fusty club?’
      • ‘It has gone from an ecstatic confluence of societal change and economic opportunity to a fusty business institution.’
      • ‘What counts, for him, is the accumulation of power and posing as a ‘moderniser’ by sweeping away fusty medieval titles.’
      old-fashioned, out of date, outdated, behind the times, antediluvian, backward-looking, past it
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Late 15th century from Old French fuste ‘smelling of the cask’, from fust ‘cask, tree trunk’, from Latin fustis ‘cudgel’.