a mood of sulking anger; a fit of resentment: Just because you disagree, don't walk off in a huff.

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Origin of huff

1575–85; imitative; see puff

Synonyms for huff Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for huff

Contemporary Examples of huff

Historical Examples of huff

  • But he threw me off his shoulders in a huff, among the daisies and the cyclamens.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • James left the kitchen in a huff to return to his duties in the breakfast-room.

    A Modern Tomboy

    L. T. Meade

  • And despite all apology and protest, he left the house in a huff.

    The Young Mountaineers

    Charles Egbert Craddock

  • Then, I left him, in a huff, declaring that he couldn't drive me away.

    The Last Woman

    Ross Beeckman

  • Percy slammed down the cover and tossed away the can in a huff.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman

    Albert Walter Tolman

British Dictionary definitions for huff



a passing mood of anger or pique (esp in the phrase in a huff)


to make or become angry or resentful
(intr) to blow or puff heavily
Also: blow draughts to remove (an opponent's draught) from the board for failure to make a capture
(tr) obsolete to bully
huffing and puffing empty threats or objections; bluster
Derived Formshuffish or huffy, adjectivehuffily or huffishly, adverbhuffiness or huffishness, noun

Word Origin for huff

C16: of imitative origin; compare puff
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 huff

mid-15c., apparently imitative of exhaling. Extended sense of "bluster with indignation" is attested from 1590s. Related: Huffed; huffing. As a slang term for a type of narcotics abuse, by 1996. As a noun from 1590s; to leave in a huff is recorded from 1778. Popular terms for "strong beer or ale" noted from 1577 include huff cap as well as mad dog and dragon's milk.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with huff


In addition to the idiom beginning with huff

  • huff and puff

also see:

  • in a huff
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.