puffball

noun

puff·​ball ˈpəf-ˌbȯl How to pronounce puffball (audio)
: any of various globose and often edible fungi (especially family Lycoperdaceae) that discharge mature spores in a smokelike cloud when pressed or struck

Examples of puffball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The triangular 1980s jackets with jutting shoulders, and precisely angled gaucho hats were weirdly galactic, while the puffballs of evening taffetas had go-go-decade references in their swirls. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 7 June 2024 The former offers a pastoral vision of the interwar Japanese suburbs while the latter’s main draw is watching Richard Gere tend to a darling puffball for 100 minutes. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 5 Feb. 2024 Her hair was frizzed out into a big puffball and her fake lashes were furry black caterpillar quality. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 9 Aug. 2023 There is a pink puffball with the ability to inhale objects as large as semi trucks and an intrepid explorer commanding an army of sentient plants. Zachary Small, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2023 Released from a fungus’s reproductive structures (or fruiting bodies), spores carry instructions for a future Shiitake, puffball, bread mold, plant rust, or brain pathogen. Emily Monosson, Time, 11 July 2023 While that cloud may look toxic, most puffballs are safe to eat. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, 11 May 2023 Not every type of puffball is a delight. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, 7 Dec. 2020 Across his grotesque torso are moist, rubbery pustules that look a bit like puffball mushrooms (which, in the hands of a good chef, actually are quite tasty). Don Steinberg, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'puffball.' 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

1649, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of puffball was in 1649

Dictionary Entries Near puffball

Cite this Entry

“Puffball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puffball. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

puffball

noun
puff·​ball ˈpəf-ˌbȯl How to pronounce puffball (audio)
: any of various often edible globe-shaped fungi that release ripe spores in a cloud resembling smoke when they are touched

Medical Definition

puffball

noun
puff·​ball ˈpəf-ˌbȯl How to pronounce puffball (audio)
: any of various globose and often edible fungi (especially family Lycoperdaceae) that discharge ripe spores in a smokelike cloud when pressed or struck

More from Merriam-Webster on puffball

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