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[puhf-in] /ˈpʌf ɪn/
any of several alcidine sea birds of the genera Fratercula and Lunda, having a short neck and a large, compressed, grooved bill, as F. arctica (Atlantic puffin) of the North Atlantic.
Origin of puffin
1300-50; Middle English poffoun, poffin, puffon (compare Anglo-Latin poffo, puffo); origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for puffin
Contemporary Examples
  • For the adventurous, try the reindeer or puffin; for those feeling fishy, go for arctic char or the array of sushi.

    Gal With a Suitcase Jolie Hunt November 13, 2009
Historical Examples
  • He's my friend, and—and I don't like to see him puffin' like that.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • We must hope that the puffin may prove, as she expects, to be a disguised lamb.

    Lalage's Lovers George A. Birmingham
  • I did know that; but I thought you'd have had on your very best so as to soften the puffin's heart.

    Lalage's Lovers George A. Birmingham
  • I have the honour to give you a lemon, Captain puffin, and a slice of sugar.

    Miss Mapp Edward Frederic Benson
  • “Well, you did yourself pretty well last night,” said puffin.

    Miss Mapp Edward Frederic Benson
  • “Help yourself, Major,” said puffin, with a keen eye as to how much he took.

    Miss Mapp Edward Frederic Benson
  • “Three and a half to four times, I should say,” repeated puffin.

    Miss Mapp Edward Frederic Benson
  • puffin felt as calm as a tropic night, and as courageous as a captain.

    Miss Mapp Edward Frederic Benson
  • puffin turned from him in scorn, still concealing his own bag.

    Miss Mapp Edward Frederic Benson
British Dictionary definitions for puffin


any of various northern diving birds of the family Alcidae (auks, etc), esp Fratercula arctica (common or Atlantic puffin), having a black-and-white plumage and a brightly coloured vertically flattened bill: order Charadriiformes
Word Origin
C14: perhaps of Cornish origin
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 puffin

North Atlantic seabird, mid-14c., perhaps connected with puff on notion of appearance, or from some Celtic word (earliest association is with Cornwall and Scilly), and altered by influence of puff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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