1 a : to remove (an article of wear) from the body
b : to take off (the hat) in greeting or as a sign of respect
2 : to rid oneself of : put aside
Did You Know?
Time was, people talked about doffing and donning articles of wear with about the same frequency. But in the mid-19th century the verb "don" became significantly more popular and left "doff" to flounder a bit in linguistic semi-obscurity. "Doff" and "don" have been a pair from the start: both date to the 14th century, with "doff" coming from a phrase meaning "to do off" and "don" from one meaning "to do on." Shakespeare was first, as far as we know, to use the word as it's defined at sense 2. He put it in Juliet's mouth: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet. / … Romeo, doff thy name; / And for that name, which is no part of thee, / Take all myself."
Although the temperature at the beach was a far cry from its August highs, the children doffed their shoes and made a game of teasing the surf.
"As faithful as the 'True Grit' remake seems to the 1969 version, it takes the story one step beyond and uses the original ending from the Charles Portis novel. Instead of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn doffing his cowboy hat and riding off to a musical flourish by Elmer Bernstein, the film strikes a more bittersweet note." -- From a movie review by Barbara Vancheri in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 22, 2010
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