fritz(redirected from were on the fritz)
Also found in: Idioms.
A condition in which something does not work properly: Our television is on the fritz.
[Perhaps from German Fritz, diminutive of the name Friedrich.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
on the fritz (of an appliance, etc) broken or malfunctioning
(of an appliance, etc) to become broken or start malfunctioning
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
on the fritz, Informal. not in working order: Our TV went on the fritz last night.
[1900–05, Amer.; of obscure orig.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.