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muff

[muhf]
noun
  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.
  3. Sports. a failure to hold onto a ball that may reasonably be expected to be caught successfully.
  4. a tuft of feathers on the sides of the head of certain fowls.
  5. Slang: Vulgar. a woman's pubic area.
  6. See under muff glass.
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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.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Informal. to bungle; perform clumsily.
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Origin of muff

1590–1600; < Dutch mof, earlier moffel, muffel mitten, muff < Old North French moufle < early Medieval Latin muffula, perhaps < Frankish
Related formsmuff·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for muffy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Muffy is not only a very intelligent little cat, but I can tell you she is also a very good-natured one, too.

  • Signor Brunoni had not got that muffy sort of thing about his chin, but looked like a close-shaved Christian gentleman.

    Cranford

    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell


British Dictionary definitions for muffy

muff1

noun
  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
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Word Origin

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

muff2

verb
  1. to perform (an action) awkwardly
  2. (tr) to bungle (a shot, catch, etc) in a game
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noun
  1. any unskilful play in a game, esp a dropped catch
  2. any clumsy or bungled action
  3. a bungler
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for muffy

muff

n.

"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.

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muff

v.

"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper