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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 puckered
Historical Examples
  • It was a little old woman, her face all wrinkled and puckered.

    For Faith and Freedom Walter Besant
  • His brow was puckered and his lips shut tightly on the stem of his pipe.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • His lips were puckered up suavely, and his little trimmed moustaches looked as though they had been fixed on with glue.

  • The place above his forehead, where he had been struck by the stone, was puckered and dark.

    Mountain Blood Joseph Hergesheimer
  • His face was brown and leathery, too, and it was puckered and sour.

    The Believing Years Edmund Lester Pearson
  • When the women showed me his face, it was all puckered with the bitterness of that defeat.

    The Arrow-Maker Mary Austin
  • It was very peaceful; but Mrs. Butterfield's face was puckered with anxiety.

  • He is smoking an unclean briar, and his forehead is puckered with thought.

  • Yet there was a sort of weary peace in the face, and there was still humour in the puckered mouth and even in the sad eyes.

    The Path of the King John Buchan
  • Then he puckered his mouth, curiously, as if trying to whistle.

    Old Valentines Munson Aldrich Havens
British Dictionary definitions for puckered


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 puckered



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 puckered



: 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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