Definition of doff
1a : to remove (an article of wear) from the bodyb : to take off (the hat) in greeting or as a sign of respect
2 : to rid oneself of : put aside
doff one's hat toor
doff one's cap to
: to show respect to : salute
doff was our Word of the Day on 07/27/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of doff in a Sentence
He doffed his cap as he introduced himself.
They doffed their coats when they came inside.
Recent Examples of doff from the Web
At the top end of the street stands Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, its bright orange shopfront standing out from the crowd of blackness, and featuring the moving model of one of the red-haired twins doffing his hat, bursting out of the windows.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doff'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Time was, people talked about doffing and donning articles of wear with about the same frequency. But in the mid-19th century the verb don became significantly more popular and left doff to flounder a bit in linguistic semi-obscurity. Doff and don have been a pair from the start: both date to the 14th century, with doff coming from a phrase meaning "to do off" and don from one meaning "to do on." Shakespeare was first, as far as we know, to use the word as it's defined at sense 2. He put it in Juliet's mouth: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet. / … Romeo, doff thy name; / And for that name, which is no part of thee, / Take all myself."
Origin and Etymology of doff
Middle English, from don to do + of off
First Known Use: 14th century
DOFF Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of doff for English Language Learners
: to take off or remove (a hat or a piece of clothing)
DOFF Defined for Kids
Definition of doff for Students
: to take off He politely doffed his cap.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up doff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).