a high headdress with the hair rolled in puffs, worn by women in the late 18th century.
an arrangement of the hair over a pad; puff.
a puff of material as an ornament on a dress or headdress.
Also pouffe. a broad, backless, usually round, cushionlike seat, often large enough for several people.

Nearby words

  1. pouched rat,
  2. pouchy,
  3. poudrage,
  4. poudrette,
  5. poudreuse,
  6. poughkeepsie,
  7. pouilly,
  8. pouilly-fuissé,
  9. pouilly-fumé,
  10. poujadism

Origin of pouf

From French, dating back to 1810–20; see origin at puff

Related formspoufed, pouffed, adjectivepouf·y, pouf·fy, adjective


[poo f, poof]

noun British Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pouf

British Dictionary definitions for pouf




a large solid cushion, usually cylindrical or cubic in shape, used as a seat
  1. a woman's hair style, fashionable esp in the 18th century, in which the hair is piled up in rolled puffs
  2. a pad set in the hair to make such puffs
a stuffed pad worn under panniers
(pʊf, puːf) British derogatory, slang less common spellings of poof

Word Origin for pouf

C19: from French; see 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 pouf



"style of elaborate female head-dress," 1817 (in reference to styles of c.1780), from French bouffer "to blow out, puff," probably of imitative origin. In dress-making, recorded from 1869; in reference to over-stuffed cushions, 1884. As a verb by 1882 (implied in pouffed).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper