verb (used with or without object)

to draw or gather into wrinkles or irregular folds, as material or a part of the face; constrict: Worry puckered his brow.


a wrinkle; an irregular fold.
a puckered part, as of cloth tightly or crookedly sewn.
Archaic. a state of agitation or perturbation.

Origin of pucker

1590–1600; apparently a frequentative form connected with poke2; see -er6 and for the meaning cf. purse
Related formspuck·er·er, nounun·puck·ered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for puckered

Historical Examples of puckered

  • He puckered his brows and drew down the corners of his mouth.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • These puckered people are the living, moving chambers of sleeping souls.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • His sunburned, good-humored face was wrinkled and puckered with amazement.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Jed's lips twitched for an instant, then he puckered them and began to whistle.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Ivy's face is all puckered, as if she were on the point of tears.

British Dictionary definitions for puckered



to gather or contract (a soft surface such as the skin of the face) into wrinkles or folds, or (of such a surface) to be so gathered or contracted


a wrinkle, crease, or irregular fold

Word Origin for pucker

C16: perhaps related to poke ², from the creasing into baglike wrinkles
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 puckered



1590s, "prob. earlier in colloquial use" [OED], possibly a frequentative form of pock, dialectal variant of poke "bag, sack" (see poke (n.1)), which would give it the same notion as in purse (v.). "Verbs of this type often shorten or obscure the original vowel; compare clutter, flutter, putter, etc." [Barnhart]. Related: Puckered; puckering.



1726, literal; 1741, figurative; from pucker (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper