1. Needlessly nervous or useless activity; commotion: There was a lot of fuss on moving day.
a. A state of excessive and unwarranted concern over an unimportant matter: made a big fuss over one low test grade.
b. An objection; a protest: The longer working hours caused a big fuss.
3. A quarrel.
4. A display of affectionate excitement and attention: Everyone made a fuss over the new baby.
v. fussed, fuss·ing, fuss·es
1. To trouble or worry over trifles.
2. To be excessively careful or solicitous: fussed over their children.
3. To get into or be in a state of nervous or useless activity: fussed with the collar of his coat.
4. To object; complain.
To disturb or vex with unimportant matters.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.