[ fluhf ]
/ flʌf /
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See synonyms for: fluff / fluffed / fluffing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
to make into fluff; shake or puff out (feathers, hair, etc.) into a fluffy mass (often followed by up): to fluff up the sofa pillows.
to make a mistake in: The leading man fluffed his lines.
verb (used without object)
to become fluffy; move, float, or settle down like fluff.
to make a mistake, especially in the delivery of lines by a performer; blunder.
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Origin of fluff

1780–90; perhaps blend of flue2 and puff


fluffer, nounun·fluffed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does fluff mean?

Fluff is a light, soft mass, such as cotton or a cloud, as in After I shaved my head, the hair that grew back was soft, like fluff.

To fluff something means to shake or puff out something, as with pillows. When you fluff your hair, you might shake it out a bit so that it puffs up and looks fluffy.

Fluff can also describe something that is of little importance, such as a novel that someone deems fun but not at all serious.

Fluff is also a mistake, especially a situation in which an actor forgets their lines. To fluff is to make such a mistake, as in Valerie fluffed her lines during the first scene, but she quickly recovered.

Example: When Grace and I were stuffing the pillows we had made, we had fluff flying all over the living room.

Where does fluff come from?

The first records of the term fluff come from around 1780. It comes from the combination of flue, meaning “downy matter,” and puff, meaning “a short, quick breath.”

Fluff usually refers to something that is soft or fluffy, but can occasionally have meanings referring to mistakes. This is because in theater and film, a fluff is a mistake or flub made when an actor or actress forgets their lines. Marshmallow fluff is a creamy, sweet spread that is particularly popular in New England. Many children enjoy a fluffernutter sandwich, that is, a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff for their lunch.

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What are some other forms related to fluff?

  • fluffy (adjective)
  • unfluffed (adjective)

What are some synonyms for fluff?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fluff

What are some words that often get used in discussing fluff?

How is fluff used in real life?

When fluff refers to an error, it can be used in an unconcerned way or angrily.



Try using fluff!

Is fluff used correctly in the following sentence?

A baby duckling is covered in downy fluff, making them soft and cuddly.

How to use fluff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fluff

/ (flʌf) /

to make or become soft and puffy by shaking or patting; puff up
informal to make a mistake in performing (an action, dramatic speech, music, etc)

Word Origin for fluff

C18: perhaps from flue ²
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