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[puhf-bawl] /ˈpʌfˌbɔl/
any of various basidiomycetous fungi, especially of the genus Lycoperdon and allied genera, characterized by a ball-like fruit body that emits a cloud of spores when broken.
Origin of puffball
First recorded in 1640-50; puff + ball1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for puff-ball
Historical Examples
  • She raised her face, which gleamed in the twilight like a puff-ball.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • I do not like this method as well as the first, and do not resort to it when I can get the puff-ball.

  • My mount, Pat, was as big as a stable door, and as light as a puff-ball on his pins.

    Pony Tracks Frederic Remington
  • By a process of my own I have greatly enhanced the value of the puff-ball in this respect.

  • And yet that engraving was made from a drawing from the puff-ball itself.

  • What child is there who lives in the country and does not know the puff-ball?

    Among the Mushrooms Ellen M. Dallas and Caroline A. Burgin
  • I've always been satisfied—and so has Devore—that if the blow had landed true his skull would have caved in like a puff-ball.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • For to call a truffle-hunter a puff-ball is to call him a thing unspeakably vile.

  • This, one of the largest and most striking of the slime-moulds, is by students generally mistaken for a puff-ball.

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride
  • We will agree that no puff-ball can compare with the pink-gilled meadow mushroom, but we make no such claims for it.

British Dictionary definitions for puff-ball


any of various basidiomycetous saprotrophic fungi of the genera Calvatia and Lycoperdon, having a round fruiting body that discharges a cloud of brown spores when mature
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 puff-ball

type of fungus, 1640s, from puff + ball (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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