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
(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

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

Synonyms: Noun

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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 This v-neck tee is ultra-soft and is cut in a simple, flattering silhouette with a very slightly puffed, 3/4 sleeve. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "22 of our favorite finds from Anthropologie's MLK Day sale," 18 Jan. 2020 Bake until slightly puffed, about 8–9 minutes for the cookies, 12–14 minutes for the house. al, "How to make 3 gingerbread recipes for the holidays," 18 Dec. 2019 The vast majority of those — 80 percent — puffed flavored products. BostonGlobe.com, "State lawmakers on Thursday passed the nation’s toughest restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol — a forceful response to an epidemic in which one out of every five Massachusetts high-schoolers use e-cigarettes.," 21 Nov. 2019 The next day a smaller group of red-clad patriots puffed up the same hill to wave a giant national flag, in images heavily promoted by the mainland’s media. The Economist, "China’s demand for undivided loyalty is causing tragedy in Hong Kong," 26 Sep. 2019 That’s where cigar-puffing Joe Burrow capped a historic season in the coolest way possible. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "A late-night walk down Bourbon Street as NOLA rejoices LSU title," 14 Jan. 2020 Spending should be directed by need, not aldermanic chest-puffing. Kristen Mcqueary, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shows how to build trust in a cynical city," 9 Dec. 2019 Smoking was already prohibited inside VA medical buildings, but now patients, employees and visitors will not be able to puff away anywhere on the grounds. Fox News, "Many veterans fuming over nationwide smoking ban at VA facilities," 2 Oct. 2019 Smoking was already prohibited inside VA medical buildings, but now patients, employees and visitors will not be able to puff away anywhere on the grounds. NBC News, "Smoking ban at VA facilities has some veterans fuming," 1 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another great drugstore option, L’Oreal’s eye cream provides a triple threat of retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to de-puff under eyes and brighten dark circles. NBC News, "How to reduce dark under-eye circles, according to dermatologists," 29 Jan. 2020 Your Royal Highness rolling papers (£2 per pack): Puff, puff, pass, pauper! Emily Flake, The New Yorker, "Introducing Meghan and Harry’s Etsy Shop," 15 Jan. 2020 One technique, for example, puffs air extracted from a jet engine through one- to four-millimeter-wide holes in the relevant parts of the plane’s skin. Eric Tegler, Scientific American, "The Next DARPA X-Plane Won’t Maneuver like Any Plane Before It," 9 Jan. 2020 Which is why Kelly’s not-so-subtle puffs of defiance leading up to and immediately following No. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Analysis: Will Brian Kelly's next step match up with his growing aspirations for Notre Dame?," 30 Dec. 2019 In addition to chips in iconic flavors like Sweet Heat, cheese puffs, cheese curls, tortilla chips, snack crackers and several other flavored chips are made at Golden Flake’s sprawling factory complex in southwest Birmingham. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "Legal battle rages over Golden Flake queen’s competency, ability to make decisions on fortune," 29 Dec. 2019 Each HeatStick contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette, and lasts about as long—roughly 15 puffs, or 6 minutes. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "A new heated tobacco product in the US could become an alternative to vaping," 11 Oct. 2019 The Orchid salad with the house peanut dressing is a refreshing starter while curry puffs will get the palette primed for one of their curry or noodle dishes. orlandosentinel.com, "2019 Orlando Sentinel Best Bets: Dining & Restaurants winners," 5 Oct. 2019 Her great-grandfather would sell the sardine puffs on the street after a monsoon. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s new Malaysian restaurant, Mahila, is a chef’s ode to childhood and mamak culture," 13 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for puff

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for puff

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puff. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for puff

puff

verb
How to pronounce puff (audio)

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)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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