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[dof, dawf] /dɒf, dɔf/
verb (used with object)
to remove or take off, as clothing.
to remove or tip (the hat), as in greeting.
to throw off; get rid of:
Doff your stupid ideas and join our side!
  1. to strip (carded fiber) from a carding machine.
  2. to remove (full bobbins, material, etc.) from a textile machine.
  1. the act of removing bobbins, material, etc., and stripping fibers from a textile machine.
  2. the material so doffed.
Origin of doff
1300-50; Middle English, contraction of do off; cf. don1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for doffing
Historical Examples
  • He bowed to her with a grave courtesy, doffing his hat and casting it upon a chair.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • He rose as she drew nigh, and, doffing his hat, made shift to pass on.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • It was as though with the doffing of the motley she had discarded its recollections.

    Under the Rose

    Frederic Stewart Isham
  • "I offer me congratulations," he said, doffing his cap and bowing low.

    Klondike Nuggets E. S. Ellis
  • I could not, were my very life at stake, think of affronting them by not doffing my hat.

    The Disowned, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The brace of helmsmen, doffing their caps, gave place to the king and his companion.

    A King of Tyre James M. Ludlow
  • There he is, I heard some one cry out, and there was a doffing of hats.

    Twenty Years in Europe Samuel H. M. Byers
  • "Yes," the ventero replied, doffing his hat with a respect mingled with fear.

    The Rebel Chief Gustave Aimard
  • “Good morning, Mr. Merrimac,” greeted Brad, doffing his cap.

  • "Yes, your Excellency; you do me honor," said Ellyson, doffing his cap of maintenance.

    Sir Christopher Maud Wilder Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for doffing


verb (transitive)
to take off or lift (one's hat) in salutation
to remove (clothing)
Derived Forms
doffer, noun
Word Origin
Old English dōn of; see do1, off; compare don1
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
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Word Origin and History for doffing



mid-14c., contraction of do off, preserving the original sense of do as "put." At the time of Johnson's Dictionary [1755] the word was "obsolete, and rarely used except by rustics," but it was saved from extinction (along with don) by Sir Walter Scott. Related: Doffed; doffing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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