• synonyms


  1. any of various basidiomycetous fungi, especially of the genus Lycoperdon and allied genera, characterized by a ball-like fruit body that emits a cloud of spores when broken.
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Origin of puffball

First recorded in 1640–50; puff + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for puff-ball

Historical Examples

  • She raised her face, which gleamed in the twilight like a puff-ball.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • I do not like this method as well as the first, and do not resort to it when I can get the puff-ball.

  • My mount, Pat, was as big as a stable door, and as light as a puff-ball on his pins.

    Pony Tracks

    Frederic Remington

  • By a process of my own I have greatly enhanced the value of the puff-ball in this respect.

  • And yet that engraving was made from a drawing from the puff-ball itself.

British Dictionary definitions for puff-ball


  1. any of various basidiomycetous saprotrophic fungi of the genera Calvatia and Lycoperdon, having a round fruiting body that discharges a cloud of brown spores when mature
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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 puff-ball


type of fungus, 1640s, from puff + ball (n.1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper