1 of 2


huffed; huffing; huffs

intransitive verb

: to emit puffs (as of breath or steam)
: to proceed with labored breathing
huffed up to the peak
: to make empty threats : bluster
: to react or behave indignantly

transitive verb

archaic : to treat with contempt
: to make angry
: to utter with indignation or scorn
: to inhale (noxious fumes) through the mouth for the euphoric effect produced by the inhalant


2 of 2


: a usually peevish and transitory spell of anger or resentment
quit in a huff
Choose the Right Synonym for huff

offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity.

offense implies hurt displeasure.

takes deep offense at racial slurs

resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will.

harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother

umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives.

took umbrage at the offer of advice

pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity.

in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation

dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation.

stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon

huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause.

in a huff he slammed the door

Example Sentences

Verb “The project is a complete waste of time,” she huffed. demanding to speak to the manager, he huffed about the rudeness of the sales assistant Noun was in a huff because everyone was running late and the school bus would stop to pick them up in a matter of minutes gets all in a huff every time anyone makes the slightest criticism
Recent Examples on the Web
Its lavenderness starts to feel almost miraculous, like stumbling on an old canister of Glade rug and room deodorizer spray from 1987 and huffing it into your lungs until you’re hammered on the fumes. Heather Havrilesky, New York Times, 12 May 2023 Difluoroethane is a gas often used in cans of compressed air, which can be huffed to produce a high, while alprazolam is the generic form of brand-name Xanax. Daniela Avila, Peoplemag, 28 Apr. 2023 From 2006 to 2020, the commission received reports of 1,133 hazardous incidents from huffing aerosol duster products. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 20 Apr. 2023 According to a police report obtained by the Associated Press, Carter was last seen alive the day before his death by Sheriff’s deputies, who visited his home to conduct a welfare check after the singer was seen huffing on an Instagram live video. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 18 Apr. 2023 There are similarities between how volcanoes huff out these halos and how dolphins blow bubble rings or how smokers exhale smoke rings. Carolyn Wilke, New York Times, 21 Mar. 2023 Snyder would huff and puff and threaten to sue. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 2 Nov. 2022 Rather not huff and puff your way for 190 miles? Brigid Mander, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2021 That’s normal to huff-and-puff, right? Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Apr. 2021
The mother, Yujin, stomps away in a huff. Yoo Lee, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2022 Misty, of course, doesn’t see anything wrong with this privacy invasion—she’s never been one to care about that sort of thing—and leaves in a huff. Erik Kain, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 And Banks reportedly left the stage in a huff at the end of the October 7 Glasgow show, choosing not to bow with Rutherford and Collins. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 15 Oct. 2021 At the fateful astrology party in 1967, one of the attractions, a tarot card reader displayed bizarre behavior, storming off in a huff while spewing out a curse over Montandon and her home. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 26 Oct. 2022 Kim asked, and Usman continued talking while Kim left in a huff. Amanda Taylor, Peoplemag, 23 Oct. 2022 This despite the critical defection of Nike superstars like Kanye West (now deeply entrenched in Adidas after leaving Nike in a huff in 2013), Allyson Felix and Simone Biles. New York Times, 15 June 2022 And as the line dwindled to the door, there wasn’t so much as an inconvenienced huff nor puff issued from a ticketholder entering anywhere near us. Kelly Dearmore, Dallas News, 2 Sep. 2021 In the real world, someone like Eileen — who’s hoisted herself on her own petard — would more likely leave her old job in a huff and start up a newsletter and write disingenuously about her nonexistent cancellation. Nina Metz, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History




First Known Use


1583, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1684, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of huff was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near huff

Cite this Entry

“Huff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb


2 of 2 noun
: a fit of anger or irritation

Medical Definition


transitive verb
: to inhale (noxious fumes) through the mouth for the euphoric effect produced by the inhalant
also : to inhale the noxious fumes of (a substance) for their euphoric effect
teenagers huffing correction fluid

More from Merriam-Webster on huff

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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