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effed; effing; effs

transitive + intransitive

used as a euphemism for fuck in various senses of the word
You don't eff with [=mess with] the Tupac legacy. You just don't.Olivia Jade Khoury
A guy who likes you a bit more than you like him generally … doesn't eff with your mind.Jessica Knoll
She told them to eff off [=scram].
… he sees this age of mass travel, mass entertainment and mass culture as the best of all possible ages. Anyone who disagrees, he snarls, had better eff off now.Robert Carver
Toronto city council huffed and puffed, the Ford brothers blustered and bullied, the mayor even admitted to buying drugs while in office, and there were renewed apologies: "There is nothing else to say, guys. I really effed up [=messed up]."Toronto Star
They threatened to eff him up if he didn't cooperate.
He says something at the end of the movie that effed me up [=upset or shocked me].Teresa Jusino


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plural effs
used as a euphemism for fuck
used especially with the as a meaningless intensive
told him to shut the eff up
… the bug that flew directly into your eyeball … may have caused you to freak the eff out.Megan Falk
"… Now they're bleeding firing at us! They've never done that before—what the eff's going on?"James Clavell
Who the eff doesn't like fry bread?Julien Perry


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Examples of eff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
After all, hair grows from the root, so don't eff it up by putting stress on your root. Jihan Forbes, Allure, 25 Oct. 2021
Shay Mitchell is on the trends, you guys, keep the eff up! Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 21 Sep. 2022 Throw on a clean shirt and get the eff out of your home. Carley Fortune, refinery29.com, 30 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'eff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



spelling variant of ef, representing the initial letter of fuck entry 1


spelling variant of ef, representing the initial letter of fuck entry 2

First Known Use


1938, in the meaning defined above


1954, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of eff was in 1938

Dictionary Entries Near eff

Cite this Entry

“Eff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eff. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

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