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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for puffball
Historical Examples
  • It is called the puffball in English, but its French name is the vesse-de-loup.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
  • So he took the puffball back and showed it to the young man.

    Prairie Smoke (Second Edition, Revised) Melvin Randolph Gilmore
  • Then the puffball became as light as a feather and turned black.

    Prairie Smoke (Second Edition, Revised) Melvin Randolph Gilmore
  • As he set foot on O'Connell bridge a puffball of smoke plumed up from the parapet.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • The puffball very quickly increased in size and weight so that it was all the turtle could bear.

    Prairie Smoke (Second Edition, Revised) Melvin Randolph Gilmore
  • It was as if each man at every step crushed with his toe a puffball that discharged its powdery particles upward into his face.

    Back Home Irvin S. Cobb
  • In a night a puffball will grow prodigiously, and in the same short period a mass of paste may be covered with mould.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • After the puffball has matured, the contents change into a brown, dustlike mass, and the top falls off; and it is then inedible.

  • All varieties of puffball with a pure white interior are harmless, if eaten before becoming crumbly and powdery.

  • In the light of dawn the deadly red haze was forming once more over the puffball plain.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for puffball


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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