puff

verb
\ ˈpəf How to pronounce puff (audio) \
puffed; puffing; puffs

Definition of puff

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a(1) : to blow in short gusts
(2) : to exhale forcibly
b : to breathe hard : pant
c : to emit small whiffs or clouds (as of smoke) often as an accompaniment to vigorous action puff at a pipe
2 : to speak or act in a scornful, conceited, or exaggerated manner
3a : to become distended : swell usually used with up
b : to open or appear in or as if in a puff
4 : to form a chromosomal puff

transitive verb

1a : to emit, propel, blow, or expel by or as if by puffs : waft
b : to draw on (a cigar, cigarette, pipe, etc.) with intermittent exhalations of smoke
2a : to distend with or as if with air or gas : inflate
b : to make proud or conceited : elate
c(1) : to praise extravagantly and usually with exaggeration authors puffing their own work
(2) : advertise

puff

noun

Definition of puff (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : an act or instance of puffing : whiff
b : a slight explosive sound accompanying a puff
c : a perceptible cloud or aura emitted in a puff
2 : a light round hollow pastry
3a : a slight swelling : protuberance
b : a fluffy mass: such as
(1) : pouf sense 2
(2) : a small fluffy pad for applying cosmetic powder
(3) : a soft loose roll of hair
(4) : a quilted bed covering
4 : a commendatory or promotional notice or review
5 : an enlarged region of a chromosome that is associated with intensely active genes involved in RNA synthesis

puff

adjective

Definition of puff (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or designed for promotion or flattery a puff piece in the paper

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Synonyms for puff

Synonyms: Verb

blow, gasp, heave, hyperventilate, pant, wheeze

Synonyms: Noun

air, breath, breeze, waft, zephyr

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Examples of puff in a Sentence

Verb

She sat on the porch puffing on a cigarette. The chimney puffed white smoke into the sky. We watched the train puff away on its journey west. He was puffing and panting from running. The bikers puffed up the hill.

Noun

He let me have a puff off his pipe. She took two puffs on her inhaler before going for a run. puffs filled with cream cheese and apricot jam
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bake until puffed and golden all over, about 13 minutes. 2. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "The Easiest Way to Eat More Healthy Fish," 16 Jan. 2019 Having celebrated five Super Bowls, three World Series, an NBA championship, and a Stanley Cup since the end of 2001, Boston sports fans have strutted around with their chests puffed out for a decade-and-a-half. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "The story and significance of Sixers-Celtics in NBA playoffs series and the best chant in sports | Mike Sielski," 1 May 2018 Place sheets in oven, then reduce oven temp to 350°F and bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until puffed and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Coconut Cream Éclairs," 7 Mar. 2019 Americans love a do-or-die tournament) and puff themselves up about fairness (in the four-team model, high quality teams, even conference winners, get left out). Jason Gay, WSJ, "Expand the Playoff, College Football," 16 Dec. 2018 Unlike Google, which is at heart an advertising company, Apple can't puff up its profit in the roundabout ways that Google can. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "For Apple's Big Event on Monday, Hardware Is Just a Sideshow," 21 Mar. 2019 Part of Valentino's Fall 2018 couture collection, the strapless gown featured puffed off-the-shoulder sleeves and a massive cascading train. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Stuns in Valentino Couture at 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 Export While much of the CFC-11 is being sold to Chinese foam manufacturers, some of the mix used to puff up the foam is being exported. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Sources of banned CFCs found through their advertising," 9 July 2018 Bake for 2-4 minutes, until the marshmallows start to puff up. For Kroger, The Courier-Journal, "A sweet treat this Valentine’s Day," 5 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One guy would hold a cigarette so Exilien could take a few puffs without touching the cigarette with his soiled hands. National Geographic, "They perform an essential health service—in secret," 17 June 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 The taro puffs filled with goose liver at Dynasty, a fancy place your upstanding grandparents might take you for Sunday lunch, were like a dim sum dish reimagined at Le Cordon Bleu. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Hong Kong Foodie," 1 Nov. 2012 Daniella explodes down the ramp and disappears, and in a few seconds a puff of yellow floats above a hay bale. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: USA Luge's search for next great Winter Olympian visits Indianapolis," 28 June 2018 Power Puff Girls If the puff sleeve wasn’t enough of a statement, these frocks come in eye catching colors and bright florals that double the fun. Vogue, "These 24 Dresses Are a No-Fuss Solution to Spring Style," 31 Mar. 2019 Beth had found that cricket flour left a bad taste in her mouth, but Yoon used it for creating cheese puffs where the cheese dominated the taste. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Ars eats more bugs, finds a few we like," 30 Sep. 2018 He's even rocked a version of one of this season's hottest natural hair-trends: the puff pony. Sharine Taylor, Allure, "For These Dancehall Artists, Hair Is Just as Important as the Music," 27 Sep. 2018 My mother would pull my hair into two plaits or sometimes into an Afro puff that looked like a fluffy rabbit’s tail on top of my head. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "How To Be a Plain Girl," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'puff.' 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 puff

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a(1)

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1943, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for puff

Verb

Middle English, from Old English pyffan, of imitative origin

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Statistics for puff

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puff

The first known use of puff was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for puff

puff

verb

English Language Learners Definition of puff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to breathe smoke from a cigarette, pipe, etc., in and out of the lungs
: to produce or send out small clouds of smoke or steam
: to move in a particular direction while producing clouds of steam or smoke

puff

noun

English Language Learners Definition of puff (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of breathing something (such as smoke or medicine) into your lungs
: a movement of gas, smoke, or air that can be seen or felt
: a light, round pastry that contains a sweet filling

puff

verb
\ ˈpəf How to pronounce puff (audio) \
puffed; puffing

Kids Definition of puff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to breathe hard : pant
2 : to send out small whiffs or clouds (as of smoke)
3 : to swell up or become swollen with or as if with air The injured eye puffed up. I puffed out my cheeks.

puff

noun

Kids Definition of puff (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a quick short instance of sending or letting out air, smoke, or steam We could see puffs from a locomotive.
2 : a slight swelling
3 : a soft pad for putting powder on the skin
4 : a light pastry
\ ˈpəf How to pronounce puff (audio) \

Medical Definition of puff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to become distended : swell usually used with up
2 : to form a chromosomal puff

puff

noun

Medical Definition of puff (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : windgall
2 : an enlarged region of a chromosome that is associated with intensely active genes involved in RNA synthesis

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puff

noun

Legal Definition of puff

1 : an act or instance of puffing
2 : a statement that amounts to puffing whether the seller's statement was a “puff” or an express warranty— J. J. White and R. S. Summers

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More from Merriam-Webster on puff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with puff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puff

Spanish Central: Translation of puff

Nglish: Translation of puff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of puff for Arabic Speakers

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