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  1. a sound of or like the exhaust of a steam engine.
verb (used without object)
  1. to emit or proceed with chuffs: The train chuffed along.

Origin of chuff3

First recorded in 1910–15; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chuffing

Historical Examples

  • As Tallis climbed out of the car, chuffing windily into the kerchief, MacMaine snapped an order to the sergeant behind the wheel.

    The Highest Treason

    Randall Garrett

  • He sits there, muttering and chuffing and sticking a long wood spit in his soup, and then he coughs and says 'Ug!'

    The Three Mulla-mulgars

    Walter De La Mare

British Dictionary definitions for chuffing


adjective, adverb (prenominal)
  1. British slang (intensifier)chuffing marvellous

Word Origin

C20: from N English chuff, a euphemism for fuck


  1. a puffing sound of or as if of a steam engine
  1. (intr) to move while emitting such soundsthe train chuffed on its way

Word Origin

C20: of imitative origin


  1. dialect a boor; churl; sullen fellow

Word Origin

C17: from obsolete chuff (n) fat cheek, of obscure origin


  1. (tr; usually passive) British slang to please or delighthe was chuffed by his pay rise

Word Origin

probably from chuff (adj) pleased, happy (earlier: chubby), from C16 chuff (obsolete n) a fat cheek, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for chuffing


"pleased, happy," c.1860, British dialect, from obsolete chuff "swollen with fat" (1520s). A second British dialectal chuff has an opposite meaning, "displeased, gruff" (1832), from chuff "rude fellow," or, as Johnson has it, "a coarse, fat-headed, blunt clown" (mid-15c.), of unknown origin. Related: Chuffed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper