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fusillade


(A fusil is a type of gun. "Fusil" comes from an Old French word meaning "flint" or "steel for starting a fire.")

A literal fusillade is a quick shooting of many bullets all at once.

And a figurative fusillade is any explosion or outpouring of things (usually words) that seems very angry or just very fast.

Pronunciation:
The older pronunciation is "FEW suh lade,"
but these days most people say "FEW suh lodd."

Part of speech:
Most often, a noun,
the countable kind.
(Countable nouns, like "bottle," "piece," and "decision," are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about "a bottle," "three pieces," and "many decisions."
Likewise, talk about one fusillade or multiple fusillades.)

Other forms:
The plural is "fusillades," which ramps up the drama a bit. Compare: "They fired off a fusillade of insults" and "They fired off fusillades of insults."

And it's rare, but "fusillade" is also a verb: you can fusillade people and things, and talk about fusilladings and fusilladers.

How to use it:
You can use this word literally: a fusillade of bullets, a fusillade of shots from the police, a fusillade of machine gun fire.

Or, be figurative: a fusillade of rules, taxes, tariffs, comments, posts, insults, demands, headlines, statistics, literary or historical references, etc.

You can talk about people firing, firing off, launching, unleashing, or letting loose a fusillade, sometimes at or against the target person or thing. People can plan a fusillade, keep up a fusillade, turn a fusillade on someone, block a fusillade, barricade themselves against a fusillade, etc.

And people can say something in, with, or through a fusillade of things: "She responded with a fusillade of profanity."

If you want to get extra-figurative, people can BE fusillades: "He was a fusillade of energy and cunning" (The Los Angeles Times).

Of course, this word usually has a harsh, violent tone, but you can use it simply to suggest speed and relentlessness: "Each page unleashes a fusillade of gags and comic sequences" (The New York Times).

examples:
It's not that he just dislikes Lady Gaga's style or finds her music unsuitable to his tastes; rather, it's as if he feels personally assaulted by her vibrancy, by her passionate combination of art, life, and theatricality, as if she were launching a fusillade of glitter, hair dye, and high-heeled boots directly at him.


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