Meaning of PUFF in English

I. ˈpəf verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English puffen, from Old English pyffan, of imitative origin

intransitive verb


a. : to blow in short gusts : exhale forcibly or escape in a cloud

a fresh salt breeze puffs across the bay

the gatherer puffs lightly into the blowpipe to shape the molten glass

the dust almost puffed out of the door when we opened it — Molly L. Bar-David

b. : to breathe hard because of exertion : pant

was puffing heavily when he reached the top

c. : to emit a series of little whiffs or clouds (as of smoke or steam) often as an accompaniment to vigorous action

puff at a pipe

the kettle puffing, and the tea all set out — Adrian Bell

snorting, puffing river steamers that churned their way to the city — American Guide Series: Maine

d. : to discharge a powdery cloud of spores

changes in temperature or humidity may cause some ascomycetes to puff

2. : to speak or act in a scornful or conceited manner : bluster , pooh-pooh

a puffing turkey-cock of a man, full of himself and of false patriotism — E.S.Morgan

it is … to defy Heaven to puff at damnation — Robert South


a. : to become distended : swell — usually used with up

a sprained ankle puffs up

b. : to open or appear in or as if in a puff : erupt , explode , expand , pop

the spin chute puffs out behind the hurtling plane

flak was puffing all around — F.V.Drake

twice, little spot fires puffed up on the wrong side — G.R.Stewart

c. : to make exaggerated statements or claims : brag

a considerable amount of puffing … was part of the sales talk that induced the marriage — Morris Ploscowe

specifically : to advertise in glowing terms

puffing … is well understood by a public immunized to the superlatives of the marketplace — F.V.Harper

transitive verb


a. : to propel or agitate by means of short gusts : blow in whiffs or spurts : waft

people who eat peppermint and puff it in your face — W.S.Gilbert

a brisk breeze puffs the clouds away

bullets … puffed up the white dust all around him — A. Conan Doyle

b. : to extinguish by blowing — used with out

puff out a candle


(1) : to say breathlessly : pant

“wait for me,” he puffed, doing his best to keep up with the bigger boys

(2) : to render breathless : wear out

twisted the rope round faster and faster, until he was puffed — Dannie Abse

d. : to draw on (as a pipe or cigarette) with intermittent exhalations of smoke

found that when people puff two cigarettes alternately, they cannot in fact tell the difference between them — Martin Mayer

e. : to apply with a diffusing device (as a powder puff)

neck, still white with the powder she had puffed there after her bath — Wright Morris



(1) : to distend with or as if with air or gas : inflate , swell

green lizards puff out their throats like thin red bubbles — Marjory S. Douglas

puffed out his chest and pranced around the chair — Daniel Curley

(2) : to fluff up or pad out : expand , stuff

the puffed and tufted furniture — Norman Mailer

the manuscript of her work had been submitted … for this one to prune and that one to puff out — Wilfred Partington

specifically : to arrange (hair) in puffs


(1) : to make proud or conceited : elate , gratify

public acclamation puffs his ego

might have become morally puffed up if a healthy corrective had not been administered — A.W.Long

(2) : to cause to swell with anger : rouse

audience puffs itself to storm the gates — D.M.Friedenberg

c. : to praise extravagantly : overrate , extol

hit too many homers and people start puffing you up — Willie Mays

do not puff impossible trash, but they do let people … know what is interesting and worth reading — Mary C. Fair

specifically : advertise

traders … still puff their goods as if the whole aim of their toils were just to achieve a single transaction — C.E.Montague

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English puf, puffe, from Old English pyff, from pyffan


a. : an act or instance of puffing : whiff , gust

storm which set out as a mere puff of wind thousands of miles away — Carey Longmire

specifically : cat's-paw 1

when you reef for a land breeze study the duration of the puffs — Peter Heaton

b. : a slight explosive sound accompanying a puff : huff

let out an irrepressible little puff of laughter — Marguerite Steen

listen to the puff of a distant locomotive

c. : a perceptible cloud or aura emitted in a puff

let ten puffs of his pipe eddy away — F.M.Ford

sat back … in a fluff of soft fur and a puff of expensive scent — Anne Panish

d. : something that resembles a puff

a clear blue sky with only a few puffs of cloud sailing in it — Clifton Cuthbert

can all be blown away with one puff of clear common sense — Stuart Hampshire

e. : puffball


a. : a hollow or airy substance: as

(1) : a dish that puffs in cooking

corn puff

potato puff

especially : a light pastry that rises high in baking

(2) : a tall drink that consists of an alcoholic liquor, milk, and soda water

brandy puff

gin puff


(1) : a disease of the tomato characterized by light hollow fruits and thought to be caused by environmental or nutritional factors

(2) : windgall 1


a. : a slight swelling : protuberance

b. : a fluffy mass: as

(1) : pouf b

a dainty puff of sleeve at the shoulder

great puffs of blue hydrangea blossoms — Placide Martin

bird didn't even have time to get its wings open before pellets ripped it into a puff of feathers — Barnaby Conrad

(2) : powder puff

(3) : a soft loose roll of hair usually wound over a pad and pinned in place — called also pouf

(4) : a quilted or tufted bed covering filled with down or fiber — called also pouf

c. : a padded ridge or piece of wadding ; specifically : toe puff


a. : an exhibition of arrogance or ostentation : bluff , show

showing off for each other … like housewives putting on a puff at a party — John Steinbeck

b. archaic : one that exhibits arrogance or ostentation : braggart , show-off

5. : a commendatory notice or review

pleasant letters came to me on my birthday … and one or two puffs in the newspapers — O.W.Holmes †1935

interested in political puffs, not news — W.A.Swanberg

the play got puffs from several critics

specifically : blurb

puffs … with which booksellers sometimes embroider their catalogs — John Carter

firm does not favor … publicity stunts or puffs for goods on sale — Persuasion

III. adjective

1. : puffed

puff sleeve

2. : of, relating to, or designed for promotion or flattery

aren't all autobiographies essentially puff jobs — Thomas Goldwasser

IV. a strongly articulated p- sound sometimes trilled & sometimes with a vowel sound following; usually read as ˈpu̇f interjection

Etymology: Middle English puf

— used to express disdain or to indicate transience

V. noun

: an enlarged region of a chromosome that is associated with intensely active genes involved in RNA synthesis

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.