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

Definition of puffery

: exaggerated commendation especially for promotional purposes : hype

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for puffery


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of puffery in a Sentence

the newspaper's local stories are often thinly disguised puffery for area businesses
Recent Examples on the Web Most of the film is played for laughs, poking at the egotistical similarities between Conrad’s political hackery and Stanley’s visual puffery. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 13 Best Movies About Why You Shouldn’t Trust the Government," 5 June 2020 Unlike harmless advertising puffery around a toothpaste that kills 99.9% of germs, the narrative of 7% growth has done real damage. Washington Post, "Modi’s Suspect GDP Numbers Have Done Real Damage," 16 June 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of puffery

1731, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about puffery

Time Traveler for puffery

Time Traveler

The first known use of puffery was in 1731

See more words from the same year

Statistics for puffery

Cite this Entry

“Puffery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puffery. Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for puffery


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

Legal Definition of puffery

More from Merriam-Webster on puffery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puffery

Comments on puffery

What made you want to look up puffery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!