\ ˈhəf How to pronounce huff (audio) \
huffed; huffing; huffs

Definition of huff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to emit puffs (as of breath or steam)
b : to proceed with labored breathing huffed up to the peak
2a : to make empty threats : bluster
b : to react or behave indignantly

transitive verb

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



Definition of huff (Entry 2 of 2)

: a usually peevish and transitory spell of anger or resentment quit in a huff

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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

Examples of huff in a Sentence

Verb “The project is a complete waste of time,” she huffed. demanding to speak to the branch manager, she huffed about the rudeness of the bank teller Noun was in a huff because everyone was running late and the hot breakfast she had prepared was getting cold gets all in a huff every time anyone makes the slightest criticism
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead of huffing it back up the hill for another run, a tow line pulls riders back up the hill. Kellie Hwang, Indianapolis Star, "Put down the remote and embrace Indiana winter with these fun activities and destinations," 15 Nov. 2019 October 22: Chem trails are real and Diplo huffs them. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The Year in Diplo Photos," 30 Dec. 2019 Some of you reading this are suddenly huffing and puffing, shocked that Hamilton was bumped from the list. Chris Quinn, Editor, cleveland, "Jay-Z and Beyonce vs Hamilton? How we hope to spark your good-natured debate: Letter from the Editor," 14 Dec. 2019 Los Angeles is naturally blessed with rock-solid interior defense to force Jokic to huff and puff for every point. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Consider yourself lucky if you couldn’t watch telecast of Nikola Jokic and Nuggets coming up small in loss to Lakers," 3 Dec. 2019 Some health club members prefer the one-on-one training experience and avoiding the glares of fellow classmates while huffing and puffing through a workout, Wille said. Robert Channick,, "Life Fitness enters race against Peloton for virtual exercise classes," 4 Dec. 2019 Women are expected to arrive at the office more carefully dressed and coiffed than men, which can be a challenge after huffing uphill in a rain shower. Dasia Moore, Quartz, "Women love bikes—so why don’t they cycle to work?," 8 Dec. 2019 Each year, the breadth and reach of this Thanksgiving-adjacent sales event seems to huff and puff and grow ever larger. NBC News, "Black Friday electronic deals 2019: Save on laptops, tablets, phones and more," 29 Nov. 2019 Naomi Watts huffs, puffs, and blows it out of the water in her upcoming thriller The Wolf Hour. Joey Nolfi,, "Naomi Watts gets blissfully grimy in Hitchcockian thriller The Wolf Hour," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another half-mile haul of huff-and-puff hiking culminates at a crest overlooking Perry Mesa and the twisted gorge of the Agua Fria River. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Don't be put off by the burn scar. This Agua Fria River overlook hike is well worth it," 21 Nov. 2019 Johnson resigned in a huff over Brexit in July 2018, heading out the door right behind Brexit Secretary David Davis. Washington Post, "Theresa May packs her bags, her legacy dominated by failure," 18 July 2019 But not to get his attention, and not in a huff — but instead just to get some sleep. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: The land of Nod has boundaries. Recognize them.," 12 Nov. 2019 As residents of Delhi and surrounding areas huff and puff amid thick smog that has engulfed the region, Amitabh Kant, CEO of government think tank Niti Aayog, posted pictures of his vacation under the clear skies of Kerala over the weekend. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "“Sorry Delhi” photos on Twitter taunt choking residents of India’s capital," 4 Nov. 2019 The hat floated to the United Center rafters, prompting Moffat to leave the arena in a huff. Phil Rosenthal,, "Alex Moffat, best known as Eric Trump on ‘SNL,’ once played Benny the Bull’s stooge at the United Center," 29 Oct. 2019 When things go awry on the day of the Michelin inspector’s visit, M. Amité takes his frustration out on Apollo, who dashes off in a huff. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Steinbeck Story About a Chef and His Cat Has Been Published in English for the First Time," 1 Aug. 2019 These threats consistently sound hollow, like the Big Bad Wolf vowing to huff and puff and blow a little pig’s house in when the abode is made of brick. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "No Exit," 10 Apr. 2019 And my lungs huff, voicing their regret at my choice to bum a loose cigarette on Saturday night. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Ski Uphill This Spring," 29 Apr. 2019

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

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First Known Use of huff


1583, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1684, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for huff



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Statistics for huff

Last Updated

30 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Huff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for huff


How to pronounce huff (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of huff

: to say (something) in a way that shows you are annoyed or angry


\ ˈhəf How to pronounce huff (audio) \
huffed; huffing

Kids Definition of huff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give off puffs (as of air or steam)
2 : to do or say in a way that shows anger He huffed out of the room.



Kids Definition of huff (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fit of anger or temper We argued and she left in a huff.
\ ˈhəf How to pronounce huff (audio) \

Medical Definition of huff

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on huff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for huff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with huff

Spanish Central: Translation of huff

Nglish: Translation of huff for Spanish Speakers

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