muff

1 of 3

noun (1)

: a warm tubular covering for the hands

Illustration of muff

Illustration of muff

muff

2 of 3

verb

muffed; muffing; muffs

transitive verb

1
: to handle awkwardly
2
: to fail to hold (a ball) when attempting a catch

intransitive verb

1
: to act or do something stupidly or clumsily
2
: to muff a ball compare fumble

muff

3 of 3

noun (2)

1
: a bungling performance
2
: a failure to hold a ball in attempting a catch

Examples of muff in a Sentence

Verb He muffed his chance for a promotion. The outfielder muffed an easy catch.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
For après, prioritize fashion and pack a hat or muffs to keep you warm for the rest of the day. Jessica Chapel, Condé Nast Traveler, 27 Mar. 2024 Mendoza Alabama strikes first after Michigan muffs punt The first official mistake of the game comes from the Wolverines. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 1 Jan. 2024 Tight end Evan Engram’s muff of a perfect pass by Lawrence led to a Titans interception, followed by a TD drive. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2024 Gaggles of young children wiggled around the stands, their mouths agape and their ears covered by muffs or a parent’s palms. Paul McAdory, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Semaj Morgan muffs punt, Alabama recovers Michigan's defense came out firing and recorded two sacks on Alabama's first three plays to force a quick three-and-out, however, the Wolverines didn't get the ball back. Jared Ramsey, Detroit Free Press, 1 Jan. 2024 Perfect for pairing with a matching faux fur jacket or fuzzy boots, these ear muffs not only keep you cozy but also elevate your overall look. Jessica Copeland, Rolling Stone, 31 Jan. 2024 In a tie game in the fourth quarter, Williams had a punt bounce off his knee — a muff rather than a fumble. Jerry McDonald, The Mercury News, 23 Jan. 2024 Behind him, a cartoon of the Raiders' Maxx Crosby, wearing purple ear muffs, attempts a tackle on Mahomes. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 21 Dec. 2023
Verb
Freshman wide receiver Semaj Morgan was back to return the punt, and muffed the catch off his chest. Jared Ramsey, Detroit Free Press, 1 Jan. 2024 The quarter didn’t end until the 49ers completed a three-and-out hat trick, then, to top it off, muffed the Chiefs’ end-of-quarter punt that bounced off Luter and wasn’t corralled by McCloud. 9. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 12 Feb. 2024 The Rams furiously rallied from down 31-7 to pull within 3 points and still 2:32 to play, but punt returner Toby Gowin muffed a punt with 1:51 to go, and the Saints recovered to salt the win away. Journal Sentinel, 17 Jan. 2024 He was put in by special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh in the final minute against Alabama in order to safely field a punt after freshman Semaj Morgan had fumbled one earlier, only to muff it himself and nearly lose it for a safety or potentially a touchdown. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press, 13 Jan. 2024 The Chiefs seemed to be finding their rhythm, and the 49ers gifted them a golden opportunity when Darrell Luter Jr. muffed a punt, giving Kansas City the ball in the red zone. Brett Knight, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Michigan muffed a punt that gave Alabama the ball in Wolverines territory, missed an extra-point attempt on a bad snap, missed a field-goal try, averaged just 39.5 yards per punt and muffed a second punt in the game’s final minute that nearly lost the game. J. Brady McCollough, Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2024 The Wolverines scored with 1:34 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 20-20, then got a stop, muffed a punt, recovered it, and eventually won in overtime. Andrew Birkle, Detroit Free Press, 2 Jan. 2024 Settling the matter, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa muffed a shotgun snap on fourth-and-10 from K.C.’s 31 with a minute left. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Nov. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Dutch mof, from Middle French moufle mitten, from Medieval Latin muffula

Verb

probably from muff entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1599, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1846, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of muff was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near muff

Cite this Entry

“Muff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muff. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

muff

1 of 2 noun
: a soft thick tubelike covering with open ends in which both hands may be inserted for protection from cold

muff

2 of 2 noun
: a clumsy or bungled performance
especially : a failure to hold a ball in attempting a catch
muff verb
Etymology

Noun

from Dutch mof "a cover for the hands," from early French moufle "mitten"

Noun

probably from 1muff

More from Merriam-Webster on muff

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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