duffer

noun duf·fer \ ˈdə-fər \

Definition of duffer

1 a :a peddler especially of cheap flashy articles
b :something counterfeit or worthless
2 :an incompetent, ineffectual, or clumsy person; especially :a mediocre golfer
3 Australia :a cattle rustler

duffer was our Word of the Day on 07/14/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of duffer in a Sentence

  1. We joined the other duffers at the course.

  2. He's a lovable old duffer.

Recent Examples of duffer from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'duffer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Duffers have never really been straight shooters-on or off the golf course. The original duffers of the mid-18th century were shysters of the first order, merchants who palmed off trashy goods as if they were highly valuable (they often implied to unwary buyers that the goods had been smuggled and were very rare). Over time, the meaning of duffer was extended from a no-good peddler to anyone who was "no good," not just because the individual had low morals, but because he or she was incompetent or stupid. The term has been applied to hopelessly bad golfers since the late 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of duffer

perhaps from duff, noun, something worthless


DUFFER Defined for English Language Learners

duffer

noun

Definition of duffer for English Language Learners

  • : a person who plays golf without much skill

  • : a clumsy or awkward person


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