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90s Slang You Should Know


[puhk-er] /ˈpʌk ər/
verb (used with or without object)
to draw or gather into wrinkles or irregular folds, as material or a part of the face; constrict:
Worry puckered his brow.
a wrinkle; an irregular fold.
a puckered part, as of cloth tightly or crookedly sewn.
Archaic. a state of agitation or perturbation.
Origin of pucker
1590-1600; apparently a frequentative form connected with poke2; see -er6 and for the meaning cf. purse
Related forms
puckerer, noun
unpuckered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pucker
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Here we are with our arms ready to receive them, and not one will even put up a pucker at us.

  • “Padre, my shoe pinches,” said Nora with a pucker between her eyes.

    The Place of Honeymoons Harold MacGrath
  • So they filled their pockets with them to pucker up the regiment.

  • Mr. Ashe laughed as he smoothed out a pucker in his niece's brow.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston Caroline E. Jacobs
  • Yet quite the same when Lockett lifted his hand, after an awful pause, every furrow and pucker reappeared.

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
  • He drew his brow into a pucker which furrowed the flesh between his brows.

    Tess of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • Of course a bird has no lips to pucker up and whistle with, as boys have, and some girls, too.

    Rick and Ruddy Howard R. Garis
  • Suddenly he stopped, and a pucker on his brow betrayed anxiety.

  • Take great care not to stretch the hole or to draw the threads tight enough to pucker.

    Handicraft for Girls Idabelle McGlauflin
British Dictionary definitions for pucker


to gather or contract (a soft surface such as the skin of the face) into wrinkles or folds, or (of such a surface) to be so gathered or contracted
a wrinkle, crease, or irregular fold
Word Origin
C16: perhaps related to poke², from the creasing into baglike wrinkles
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 pucker

1590s, "prob. earlier in colloquial use" [OED], possibly a frequentative form of pock, dialectal variant of poke "bag, sack" (see poke (n.1)), which would give it the same notion as in purse (v.). "Verbs of this type often shorten or obscure the original vowel; compare clutter, flutter, putter, etc." [Barnhart]. Related: Puckered; puckering.


1726, literal; 1741, figurative; from pucker (v.).


1726, literal; 1741, figurative; from pucker (v.).

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



: The U.S. ships were taking no chances: as Capt. Mathis told his crew members, one mine is enough to keep the pucker factor up


Fear; state of fright: Don't get into such a pucker (1741+)

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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