[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 doffing

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

Examples from the Web for doffing

Historical Examples of doffing

  • He bowed to her with a grave courtesy, doffing his hat and casting it upon a chair.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • He rose as she drew nigh, and, doffing his hat, made shift to pass on.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • It was as though with the doffing of the motley she had discarded its recollections.

    Under the Rose

    Frederic Stewart Isham

  • "I offer me congratulations," he said, doffing his cap and bowing low.

    Klondike Nuggets

    E. S. Ellis

  • I could not, were my very life at stake, think of affronting them by not doffing my hat.

    The Disowned, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for doffing


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 doffing



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