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.

Origin of fluff

1780–90; perhaps blend of flue2 and puff
Related formsfluff·er, nounun·fluffed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fluff

Contemporary Examples of fluff

Historical Examples of fluff

British Dictionary definitions for fluff



soft light particles, such as the down or nap of cotton or wool
any light downy substance
an object, matter, etc, of little importance; trifle
informal a mistake, esp in speaking or reading lines or performing music
informal a young woman (esp in the phrase a bit of fluff)


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

Word Origin and History for fluff

"light, feathery stuff," 1790, apparently a variant of floow "wooly substance, down, nap" (1580s), perhaps from Flemish vluwe, from French velu "shaggy, hairy," from Latin vellus "fleece," or Latin villus "tuft of hair" (see velvet). OED suggests fluff as "an imitative modification" of floow, "imitating the action of puffing away some light substance." Slang bit of fluff "young woman" is from 1903. The marshmallow confection Fluff dates to c.1920 in Massachusetts, U.S.


"to shake into a soft mass," 1875, from fluff (n.). Meaning "make a mistake" is from 1884, originally in theater slang. Related: Fluffed; fluffing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper