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[fog, fawg] /fɒg, fɔg/

a cloudlike mass or layer of minute water droplets or ice crystals near the surface of the earth, appreciably reducing visibility.
Compare , , .
any darkened state of the atmosphere, or the diffused substance that causes it.
a state of mental confusion or unawareness; daze; stupor:
The survivors were in a fog for days after the catastrophe.
Photography. a hazy effect on a developed negative or positive, caused by light other than that forming the image, by improper handling during development, or by the use of excessively old film.
Physical Chemistry. a mixture consisting of liquid particles dispersed in a gaseous medium.
verb (used with object), fogged, fogging.
to cover or envelop with or as if with fog:
The steam in the room fogged his glasses.
to confuse or obscure:
The debate did little else but fog the issue.
to bewilder or perplex:
to fog the mind.
Photography. to produce fog on (a negative or positive).
verb (used without object), fogged, fogging.
to become enveloped or obscured with or as if with fog.
Photography. (of a negative or positive) to become affected by fog.
(photog) affected or obscured by fog
a mass of droplets of condensed water vapour suspended in the air, often greatly reducing visibility, corresponding to a cloud but at a lower level
a cloud of any substance in the atmosphere reducing visibility
a state of mental uncertainty or obscurity
(photog) a blurred or discoloured area on a developed negative, print, or transparency caused by the action of extraneous light, incorrect development, etc
a colloid or suspension consisting of liquid particles dispersed in a gas
verb fogs, fogging, fogged
to envelop or become enveloped with or as if with fog
to confuse or become confused: to fog an issue
(photog) to produce fog on (a negative, print, or transparency) or (of a negative, print, or transparency) to be affected by fog


“thick, obscuring mist,” 1540s, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Danish fog “spray, shower, snowdrift,” Old Norse fok “snow flurry,” fjuk “snow storm.” Cf. also Old English fuht, Dutch vocht, German Feucht “moist.” Figurative phrase in a fog “at a loss what to do” first recorded c.1600.

“long grass,” c.1300, probably of Scandinavian origin, cf. Norwegian fogg “long grass in a moist hollow,” Icelandic fuki “rotten sea grass.” The connection to fog (n.1), via a notion of long grass growing in moist dells of northern Europe, is tempting but not proven. Watkins suggests derivation from PIE *pu- “to rot, decay.”

1590s, from fog (n.1). Related: Fogged; fogging.


Related Terms

in a fog

[origin unknown; probably a substitution for smoke in all senses]
fiber optic gyro
father of the groom
see: in a fog


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