a short fuse
- to get angry quickly.
- to lose one’s composure with minimal provocation.
- having a volatile temper.
- a quick temper.
Examples in Sentences
- He has a short fuse. He loses his temper for things that don’t provoke others to high levels of angry emotion.
- In the report, the man said one of the staff members threatened him since he had a short fuse.
- In the next few moments after their argument, John, who has a short fuse, lunged at his classmate with a karate-style kick.
- The figures indicate that law enforcement officers are highly likely to encounter violence during festivals. In areas where people visit clubs, drugs and alcohol play a role in the violence, and it is clear that the individuals have a short fuse.
- It would help if you handled people with a short fuse diplomatically.
- They will probably not ask the short-fuse committee to advise them when the time comes.
- James could be short-fused and fretful, resentful, or impatient.
The phrase “a short fuse” comes from the fuse used in setting off explosions like firecrackers and dynamite. Explosive items with a short fuse sometimes blow up fast or even prematurely. The idiom gained popularity in the mid-twentieth century. The expression was first recorded in the early 1960s. It appears in a novel called The Stainless Steel Rat, written by Harry Harrison. The novel was first printed in 1961. According to Wikipedia, Harry Harrison wrote The Stainless Steel Rat, a series of 12 books. The phrase also appears in Yanks Don’t Cry; a POW novel published in 1963. Its author is Martin Boyle.