fume

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be running on fumes

To be continuing to operate with no or very little enthusiasm, energy, or resources left. I've been painting the house for four hours every night after work, and I am seriously running on fumes at this point. We were running on fumes by the time our team made it to the championship round.
See also: fume, on, running

run on fumes

1. To be especially ineffectual, insubstantial, or unsuccessful. The high production value means that the film is visually stunning, but no amount of aesthetic beauty can save a film whose paper-thin plot runs on fumes from start to finish. The former president promised quite a lot in his campaign speeches, but his administration ran on fumes throughout his time in the White House.
2. To continue to operate with no or very little enthusiasm, energy, or resources left. (Usually used in the continuous tense.) I've been painting the house for four hours every night after work, and I am seriously running on fumes at this point. We were running on fumes by the time our team made it to the championship round.
See also: fume, on, run

fume about someone or something

 and fume over someone or something
to be very angry about someone or something. She was just fuming over her broken vase. She was still fuming about Larry the next morning.
See also: fume

fume at someone

Fig. to rage at someone. She was really fuming at Sam, who had broken her table leg.
See also: fume

running on fumes

continuing to do something when you have almost no energy left After two straight games against top teams, the Tigers were running on fumes and lost on Saturday night.
See also: fume, on, running
References in periodicals archive ?
To have immediately a reliable estimation about the amount of plume-like cooking fumes in order to remove them in time with a proper exhaust flow rate, global detection is carried out not only with more transducers but also a translation algorithm to process their output voltages.
Two employees reported feeling unwell after smelling fumes at West Street station in the Tradeston area of the city.
The men had to be airlifted from Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious off the coast of Hartlepool after being overcome by the fumes in one of the ship's toilets, the Navy said.
Fumes can be generated during torch cutting and welding operations.
These lawsuits allege that welders' exposure to manganese-containing welding fumes caused neurological damage such as Parkinson's disease and other similar movement disorders.
Usually, an exhaust system is in place to absorb the emissions from the air, but Beltech Engineering, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada, went one better with its Travelair Exhaust System, which travels with the crane to manage the fumes at their origin.
never again The death of Dominic Rodgers (top left) from fumes trapped in a passageway at his home (above) prompted next week's safety drive, which is being supported by his mother, Stacey
The only safe way to deal with the problem of fumes is to prevent them from being inhaled in the first place by removing contaminated air from the employees' workspace using effective fume extraction.
LIKE many pro-smokers, R Mason brings up the old chestnut of exhaust fumes in an attempt to justify smoking (Dear Mirror, April 6).
A past study showed that breathing air filled with such emissions for 4 hours temporarily suppressed rats' immune defenses against the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, within a week after being deliberately infected with the bacterium, however, the soot-exposed rats cleared the infection as effectively as did animals that hadn't breathed diesel fumes.
They protect you from harmful dust, fumes and noise created by filing and drilling cadmium-coated rivets.
LRAPA and Baxter had been informally working together since December 1995 to address the fumes, but the notification letter for the first time puts the matter into a formal legal framework.
Industrial gases group BOC yesterday vowed to challenge a US court verdict which linked welding fumes with Parkinson's Disease.
INDUSTRIAL gases group BOC vowed yesterday to challenge a US court verdict which linked welding fumes with Parkinson's Disease.
Biehle recalls another blunder in which an architect had the fumes from the HVAC system in the chemistry lab being deposited directly into the cafeteria.