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[poof] /puf/
a high headdress with the hair rolled in puffs, worn by women in the late 18th century.
an arrangement of the hair over a pad; puff.
a puff of material as an ornament on a dress or headdress.
Also, pouffe. a broad, backless, usually round, cushionlike seat, often large enough for several people.
Origin of pouf1
From French, dating back to 1810-20; See origin at puff
Related forms
poufed, pouffed, adjective
poufy, pouffy, adjective


[poo f, poof] /pʊf, puf/
noun, British Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
poof2 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pouf
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She snapped her fingers, and gave the Zerv equivalent of "pouf."

    Valley of the Croen Lee Tarbell
  • Her relatives joined the revolutionists, and pouf,—were blown out.

    Eve to the Rescue

    Ethel Hueston
  • You throw your apron over your head so that you can't see, and pouf!

  • The Emperor has gone to Metzeh piff, pouf, boum, where is your Bismarck then!

    The Garden of Swords Max Pemberton
  • Wherever she goes she is the cynosure of all eyes, and then—pouf!

    In Vanity Fair

    Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd
  • For that, of course, we would endure everything till we got it, and then—pouf!

    Temporal Power Marie Corelli
  • But, pouf, there is little they can do against that stockade of logs for all their numbers.

    Beyond the Frontier Randall Parrish
  • You may do your worst, but I can gain the ear of the king, and then—pouf!

    The Coming of the King James Hocking
British Dictionary definitions for pouf


a large solid cushion, usually cylindrical or cubic in shape, used as a seat
  1. a woman's hair style, fashionable esp in the 18th century, in which the hair is piled up in rolled puffs
  2. a pad set in the hair to make such puffs
a stuffed pad worn under panniers
(Brit, derogatory, slang) (pʊf; puːf) less common spellings of poof
Word Origin
C19: from French; see 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 pouf

"style of elaborate female head-dress," 1817 (in reference to styles of c.1780), from French bouffer "to blow out, puff," probably of imitative origin. In dress-making, recorded from 1869; in reference to over-stuffed cushions, 1884. As a verb by 1882 (implied in pouffed).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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