[dof, dawf]

verb (used with object)

to remove or take off, as clothing.
to remove or tip (the hat), as in greeting.
to throw off; get rid of: Doff your stupid ideas and join our side!
  1. to strip (carded fiber) from a carding machine.
  2. to remove (full bobbins, material, etc.) from a textile machine.


  1. the act of removing bobbins, material, etc., and stripping fibers from a textile machine.
  2. the material so doffed.

Origin of doff

1300–50; Middle English, contraction of do off; cf. don1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for doff

shed, peel, undress, disrobe, strip, discard, shuck

Examples from the Web for doff

Contemporary Examples of doff

Historical Examples of doff

  • I heard him retorting, as he assisted me to doff my doublet.

  • Presently you may doff it for all time, and resume your true estate.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • In the fields, the corn-gatherers pause to doff their hats and smile their welcome.

    Plantation Sketches

    Margaret Devereux

  • And she began at once to talk of the puppies, whom she had named Don and Doff.


    John Galsworthy

  • Without rising, Zuchin asked me to have some vodka and to doff my tunic.


    Leo Tolstoy

British Dictionary definitions for doff


verb (tr)

to take off or lift (one's hat) in salutation
to remove (clothing)
Derived Formsdoffer, noun

Word Origin for doff

Old English dōn of; see do 1, off; compare don 1
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

Word Origin and History for doff

mid-14c., contraction of do off, preserving the original sense of do as "put." At the time of Johnson's Dictionary [1755] the word was "obsolete, and rarely used except by rustics," but it was saved from extinction (along with don) by Sir Walter Scott. Related: Doffed; doffing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper