See more synonyms for fluff on Thesaurus.com
  1. light, downy particles, as of cotton.
  2. a soft, light, downy mass: a fluff of summer clouds.
  3. something of no consequence: The book is pure fluff, but fun to read.
  4. an error or blunder, especially an actor's memory lapse in the delivery of lines.
verb (used with object)
  1. 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.
  2. to make a mistake in: The leading man fluffed his lines.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become fluffy; move, float, or settle down like fluff.
  2. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for fluffing

Contemporary Examples of fluffing

  • For one split second, she seemed to be fluffing up her hair, a vulnerable gesture.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Chile's Etiquette of Love

    Tracy Quan

    October 16, 2010

Historical Examples of fluffing

British Dictionary definitions for fluffing


  1. soft light particles, such as the down or nap of cotton or wool
  2. any light downy substance
  3. an object, matter, etc, of little importance; trifle
  4. informal a mistake, esp in speaking or reading lines or performing music
  5. informal a young woman (esp in the phrase a bit of fluff)
  1. to make or become soft and puffy by shaking or patting; puff up
  2. 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 fluffing



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



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper