[ muhf ]
See synonyms for muff on
  1. a thick, tubular case for the hands, covered with fur or other material, used by women and girls for warmth and as a handbag.

  2. a bungled or clumsy action or performance.

  1. Sports. a failure to hold onto a ball that may reasonably be expected to be caught successfully.

  2. a tuft of feathers on the sides of the head of certain fowls.

  3. Slang: Vulgar. a woman's pubic area.

  4. See under muff glass.

verb (used with object)
  1. Informal. to bungle; handle clumsily: He muffed a good opportunity.

  2. Sports. to fail to hold onto (a ball that may reasonably be expected to be caught successfully); fumble.

verb (used without object)
  1. Informal. to bungle; perform clumsily.

Origin of muff

1590–1600; <Dutch mof, earlier moffel, muffel mitten, muff <Old North French moufle<early Medieval Latin muffula, perhaps <Frankish

Other words from muff

  • muffy, adjective

Words Nearby muff Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use muff in a sentence

  • They looked sad, and the girl took her handkerchief from her muff and held it to her eyes.

    The Story of the Big Front Door | Mary Finley Leonard
  • Moreover, it is not improbable that the reader is ready to agree with the old satirist in thinking the young man a muff.

    Horsemanship for Women | Theodore Hoe Mead
  • She went to Peter Robinson's and spent twenty-seven pounds nineteen and sixpence on a muff and stole for Griselda.

    Happy House | Betsey Riddle, Freifrau von Hutten zum Stolzenberg

British Dictionary definitions for muff (1 of 2)


/ (mʌf) /

  1. an open-ended cylinder of fur or cloth into which the hands are placed for warmth

  2. the tuft on either side of the head of certain fowls

Origin of muff

C16: probably from Dutch mof, ultimately from French mouffle muffle 1

British Dictionary definitions for muff (2 of 2)


/ (mʌf) /

  1. to perform (an action) awkwardly

  2. (tr) to bungle (a shot, catch, etc) in a game

  1. any unskilful play in a game, esp a dropped catch

  2. any clumsy or bungled action

  1. a bungler

Origin of muff

C19: of uncertain origin

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