puff·​ery ˈpə-f(ə-)rē How to pronounce puffery (audio)
: exaggerated commendation especially for promotional purposes : hype

Examples of puffery in a Sentence

the newspaper's local stories are often thinly disguised puffery for area businesses
Recent Examples on the Web That conclusion may sound preposterously quaint to some, unwelcome advice to a few, ridiculous puffery or an impossible goal to still others. David Baldacci, Peoplemag, 15 Apr. 2024 Most mentions of Florida were mere puffery, with little indication of what DeSantis intends to accomplish. Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel Editorial Boards, Orlando Sentinel, 22 Feb. 2024 When the subject is not the movies but matters of the Middle East, the consequences of this sleight of hand are far graver than some dubious promotional puffery. Yair Rosenberg, The Atlantic, 5 Feb. 2024 This column is dedicated to my late father, Dr. Subhash Jain, a dedicated physician, father, grandfather, and husband who always prioritized the real work of delivering great patient care over hype—and always pushed me to look beyond puffery in the development of my own perspectives. Sachin H. Jain, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 At worst, Cohen argued, the emoji was immaterial puffery. Rob Wile, NBC News, 31 July 2023 Even volcanoes known for such puffery don’t make rings all the time. Carolyn Wilke, New York Times, 21 Mar. 2023 And as companies try to ride the boom, investors should expect to sort through a lot of AI-ish-sounding puffery. Vildana Hajric, Bloomberg.com, 8 June 2023 The men never miss a chance to turn an interaction with the whale into an opportunity for personal puffery, book promotion, and general unctuousness. Nina Burleigh, The New Republic, 16 May 2023

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

1731, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of puffery was in 1731

Dictionary Entries Near puffery

Cite this Entry

“Puffery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puffery. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Legal Definition


puff·​ery ˈpə-fə-rē How to pronounce puffery (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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