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[poo f, poof] /pʊf, puf/
(used to express or indicate a sudden disappearance):
Poof! The magician made the rabbit disappear.
pooh1 (def 1).
Origin of poof1
First recorded in 1815-25


[poof, poo f] /puf, pʊf/
noun, British Slang.
Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.
Offensive. an effeminate male.
Also, pooff, pouf, poove, poofter.
1840-50; < French pouffe pouf1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poof
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had volunteered this service and accomplish it he must, in face of all obstacles, or poof!

    The Carpet from Bagdad Harold MacGrath
  • "poof to United States," said the little man, snapping his fingers.

    A Voyage with Captain Dynamite Charles Edward Rich
  • Thinking of fresh yams and fruit, I pulled off the leaves, and there—poof!

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • Not even when, with poof and a yellow flare, the gas tank of one of the cars exploded.

    A Feast of Demons William Morrison
  • But somewhere you will find a door and there will be three steps behind it, and poof!

    Journeys to Bagdad Charles S. Brooks
British Dictionary definitions for poof


/pʊf; puːf/
(Brit, derogatory, slang) a male homosexual
Derived Forms
poofy, adjective
Word Origin
C20: from French pouffe puff
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 poof

sound of a puff of breath or air, 1824, imitative.

"effeminate man, male homosexual," c.1850, perhaps a corruption of puff. The Australian extended form poofter is attested from 1910.


sound of a puff of breath or air, 1824, imitative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for poof



(also poofter or poove or pouffe) A male homosexual; faggot, queer

[British 1850+, poofter fr Australian by 1903; origin unknown; perhaps fr puff, attested in mid-1800s British hobo slang as ''homosexual'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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