puff·​ery | \ ˈpə-f(ə-)rē How to pronounce puffery (audio) \

Definition of puffery

: exaggerated commendation especially for promotional purposes : hype

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Synonyms for puffery


ballyhoo, hype, publicity

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Examples of puffery in a Sentence

the newspaper's local stories are often thinly disguised puffery for area businesses

Recent Examples on the Web

But for essentially all of Hollywood history, the Establishment Gossip Media’s existence has been predicated on access, and all of the swapped favors, longstanding relationships and puffery that that entails. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: How Michael Jackson’s death broke the internet and legitimized TMZ," 26 June 2019 In a world of puffery, fakery and deception, even a calamitous dose of reality can feel, on some level, reassuring. Sam Anderson, New York Times, "Why Do Sports Fans Watch — And Rewatch — Injury Footage?," 3 July 2019 With the showy, royal puffery of the queen’s banquet at Buckingham Palace and tea with Prince Charles over, President Trump turned to business Tuesday, and the possibility of a trade deal once Britain finally leaves the European Union. Washington Post, "Trump says Theresa May should ‘stick around’ for the great U.S.-British trade deal, but she’ll be gone by July," 5 June 2019 Investors seem to view his penchant for puffery as a feature rather than a bug. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "SEC Overkill on Elon Musk," 28 Sep. 2018 Trump’s public persona has been geared toward manic puffery of his own success. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Calls His Supporters ‘Elite,’ Doesn’t Understand How Populism Works," 28 June 2018 Finally, after diving headfirst into bravado and chest puffery all episode, Axe grits his teeth. refinery29.com, "Billions Season 3, Episode 9 Recap: "Sitting Here In The Dark, Like An Assassin"," 21 May 2018 Unlike puffery, however, leaders in Moscow appear to expect their statements to be treated seriously. Miriam Matthews, Newsweek, "Putin's Boasting About Nuclear Weapons Won't Help Him In The Russian Election," 15 Mar. 2018 Trump, perhaps the most animalistic of spirits, may think his constant puffery is boosting markets. Anchorage Daily News, "Long-running bull market doesn’t make Trump administration marvelous," 11 Jan. 2018

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

1731, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near puffery



puffer fish





Statistics for puffery

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for puffery

The first known use of puffery was in 1731

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More Definitions for puffery


puff·​ery | \ ˈpə-fə-rē How to pronounce puffery (audio) \

Legal Definition of puffery

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Comments on puffery

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recurring in steady succession

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