puff

verb
\ ˈpəf \
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
(1) : pouf sense 2
(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

puff

adjective

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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Other Words from puff

Noun

puffiness \ ˈpə-​fē-​nəs \ noun
puffy \ ˈpə-​fē \ adjective

Synonyms for puff

Synonyms: Verb

blow, gasp, heave, hyperventilate, pant, wheeze

Synonyms: Noun

air, breath, breeze, waft, zephyr

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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

For the event, Middleton opted for a simple yet classy blue longsleeve sheath dress by Jenny Packham, which featured puffed shoulders and a subtle belt at the waist. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears Royal Blue for a Surprise Engagement at the Imperial War Museum," 31 Oct. 2018 Garnish with the mint, puffed rice, pumpkin seeds, pea shoots and flowers, if using. Sarah Fritsche, SFChronicle.com, "Recipe: The Shed’s Cabbage Salad With Nam Prik, Pea Shoots, Puffed Rice & Radish," 3 July 2018 Bake, in batches, until puffed and just set, 6 to 7 minutes. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Football Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream," 6 Nov. 2018 Bake until puffed and golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Cajun Sausage Puffs With Bourbon Mustard," 5 Nov. 2018 The 61-year-old author from St. Petersburg, Fla., got the idea for her novel during a game when a young player puffed up her chest and made a big bet against her. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "Researching Your Book? Hit the Casino," 5 Nov. 2018 No matter the weather, the outdoor tables are always packed with customers puffing away while chatting with friends or watching the world go by. Elena Berton, USA TODAY, "The French still love their cigarettes. But the once chic image is going up in smoke," 2 July 2018 His version uses brown rice syrup instead of refined sugar and puffed brown rice cereal in lieu of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. Julia Sherman, New York Times, "A Cookbook of Artists’ Creative Summer Desserts," 22 June 2018 The millet grains puffed up and became crunchy in the hot oil, providing a crisp contrast to the soft meat; tahini and tamarind dipping sauces added a juicy touch. Anissa Helou, Bon Appetit, "The Camel Trek: In Search of an Unexpected Delicacy," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Bohana puffs were a particular favorite—though all the parents, including me, found them to have a disconcerting, livery tang. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Is Healthy Snack Food Actually Healthy—or Just Addictive?," 18 Jan. 2019 One day, Eddie is assigned to do a puff piece on the head of The Life Foundation, Dr. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), a megalomaniacal tech tycoon who is basically just Elon Musk without a Twitter problem. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Venom is a bizarre and baffling mess," 3 Oct. 2018 That said, the amplification issues this year were even more distracting than last year; the amplification was so overdone that the slightest puff of wind was projected. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This 'King Lear' more humdrum than tragic," 6 July 2018 Princess Sofia, who's married to Princess Victoria's younger brother, Prince Carl Philip, went the bold route in a show-stopping red number with puff shoulders and cape-like sleeves that fell to the floor. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "These Swedish Princesses Showed Off Epic Royal Style at the Nobel Prize Ceremony," 10 Dec. 2018 But leave it to Queen Doute to demonstrate how to bow out by cursing off your manager in between cigarette puffs. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "9 Dramatic 'Vanderpump Rules' Moments Nobody Can Ever Forget," 3 Dec. 2018 Fenty Beauty is partaking in the festivities, with its Two Lil Mattemoiselles set and Mini Fairy Bomb glitter puff packaged in chic transparent orbs. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Sephora is Selling Beauty Product Holiday Ornaments," 2 Dec. 2018 With only the resources of an ordinary man, Gen. Flynn’s ability to defend himself and his family vanished in a puff of smoke. WSJ, "The Questionable Case Against Gen. Flynn," 17 Dec. 2018 While other cream puffs emphasize the puff, Nielsen’s potato is really about the cream. Megan Burbank, The Seattle Times, "For a sweet dose of hygge, try Nielsen’s Pastries in Lower Queen Anne," 11 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for puff

Last Updated

31 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puff

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

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More Definitions for puff

puff

verb

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 \
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 \

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)

1 : windgall
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with puff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puff

Spanish Central: Translation of puff

Nglish: Translation of puff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of puff for Arabic Speakers

Comments on puff

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