- a thick, tubular case for the hands, covered with fur or other material, used by women and girls for warmth and as a handbag.
- a bungled or clumsy action or performance.
- Sports. a failure to hold onto a ball that may reasonably be expected to be caught successfully.
- a tuft of feathers on the sides of the head of certain fowls.
- Slang: Vulgar. a woman's pubic area.
- See under muff glass.
- Informal. to bungle; handle clumsily: He muffed a good opportunity.
- Sports. to fail to hold onto (a ball that may reasonably be expected to be caught successfully); fumble.
- Informal. to bungle; perform clumsily.
Origin of muff
- sheet glass made from a blown cylinder (muff) that is split and flattened.
Examples from the Web for muff
Jenkins is all very well for work, but he is nothing but a muff in other things.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
I asked if the muff, as well as the glove, had been searched carefully.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
She drew the paper from her muff with an impulsive movement and thrust it toward him.The Inn at the Red Oak
She threw down her cloak and muff, the instant she came in, with an air of ill-humour, and undressed herself in a hurried manner.The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete
Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe
Bobinette had swallowed the contents of a small phial hidden in her muff!A Nest of Spies
- an open-ended cylinder of fur or cloth into which the hands are placed for warmth
- the tuft on either side of the head of certain fowls
- to perform (an action) awkwardly
- (tr) to bungle (a shot, catch, etc) in a game
- any unskilful play in a game, esp a dropped catch
- any clumsy or bungled action
- a bungler
Word Origin and History for muff
"warm covering for the hands," 1590s, from Dutch mof "a muff," shortened from Middle Dutch moffel "mitten, muff," from Middle French moufle "mitten," from Old French mofle "thick glove, large mitten, handcuffs" (9c.), from Medieval Latin muffula "a muff," of unknown origin. In 17c.-18c. also worn by men. Meaning "vulva and pubic hair" is from 1690s; muff-diver "one who performs cunnilingus" is from 1935.
"to bungle," 1827, pugilism slang, probably related to muff (n.) "awkward person" (1837), perhaps from muff (n.) on notion of someone clumsy because his hands are in a muff. Related: Muffed; muffing.