- a short, quick blast, as of wind or breath.
- an abrupt emission of air, smoke, vapor, etc.
- an act of inhaling and exhaling, as on a cigarette or pipe; whiff.
- the sound of an abrupt emission of air, vapor, etc.
- a small quantity of vapor, smoke, etc., emitted at one blast.
- an inflated or distended part of a thing; swelling; protuberance.
- a form of light pastry with a filling of cream, jam, or the like.
- a portion of material gathered and held down at the edges but left full in the middle, as on a sleeve.
- a cylindrical roll of hair.
- a quilted bed covering, usually filled with down.
- a commendation, especially an exaggerated one, of a book, an actor's performance, etc.
- powder puff.
- a ball or pad of soft material.
- Chiefly British Slang. a male homosexual.
- to blow with short, quick blasts, as the wind.
- to be emitted in a puff.
- to emit a puff or puffs; breathe quick and hard, as after violent exertion.
- to go with puffing or panting.
- to emit puffs or whiffs of vapor or smoke.
- to move with such puffs: The locomotive puffed into the station.
- to take puffs at a cigar, cigarette, etc.
- to become inflated, distended, or swollen (usually followed by up).
- (especially of an auctioneer's accomplice) to bid on an item at an auction solely to increase the price that the final bidder must pay.
- to send forth (air, vapor, etc.) in short, quick blasts.
- to drive or impel by puffing, or with a short, quick blast.
- to extinguish by means of a puff (usually followed by out): to puff a match out.
- to smoke (a cigar, cigarette, etc.).
- to inflate, distend, or swell, especially with air.
- to make fluffy; fluff (often followed by up): to puff up a pillow.
- to inflate with pride, vanity, etc. (often followed by up): Their applause puffed him up.
- to praise unduly or with exaggeration.
- to apply powder to (the cheeks, neck, etc.) with a powder puff.
- to apply (powder) with a powder puff.
- to arrange in puffs, as the hair.
Origin of puff
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for puffed
Afterward, you can actually see her young career flash before her eyes as she makes a kind of puffed up blowfish face.The Curious Little Shell That Restarted Jenny Slate’s Career
December 15, 2014
I nodded, puffed my chest out, but then looked at the ground.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
The winter air is rent with cries from thousands of puffed up lips, begging to be let in.Russia’s Gold Digger Academy
November 11, 2014
Some came wrapped in what looked like puffed up fabric worms, with hair just as knotted and twisted.Comme Des Garçons, Kenzo, and More Japanese Designers at Paris Fashion Week
March 4, 2014
Orshansky puffed on a device that looked like a dental tool.New York’s Nanny-State E-Cig Ban
December 20, 2013
Winkleman puffed out his chest and protruded his great beard.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
He will not be puffed up by success, or unduly depressed by failure.Self-Help
He lay back in the chair and puffed smoke above his head for a while.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
The other men eyed him with a brooding jealousy as they puffed on their pipes.
Anyone else would have died of it; he merely strutted about and puffed out his chest.
- a short quick draught, gust, or emission, as of wind, smoke, air, etc, esp a forceful one
- the amount of wind, smoke, etc, released in a puff
- the sound made by or associated with a puff
- an instance of inhaling and expelling the breath as in smoking
- a swelling
- a light aerated pastry usually filled with cream, jam, etc
- a powder puff
- exaggerated praise, as of a book, product, etc, esp through an advertisement
- a piece of clothing fabric gathered up so as to bulge in the centre while being held together at the edges
- a loose piece of hair wound into a cylindrical roll, usually over a pad, and pinned in place in a coiffure
- a less common word for quilt (def. 1)
- one's breath (esp in the phrase out of puff)
- derogatory, slang a male homosexual
- a dialect word for puffball
- to blow or breathe or cause to blow or breathe in short quick draughts or blasts
- (tr; often foll by out; usually passive) to cause to be out of breath
- to take puffs or draws at (a cigarette, cigar, or pipe)
- to move with or by the emission of puffsthe steam train puffed up the incline
- (often foll by up, out, etc) to swell, as with air, pride, etc
- (tr) to praise with exaggerated empty words, often in advertising
- (tr) to apply (cosmetic powder) from a powder puff to (the face)
- to increase the price of (a lot in an auction) artificially by having an accomplice make false bids
Word Origin and History for puffed
c.1200, perhaps Old English, puf, puffe "short, quick blast; act of puffing," from puff (v.). Meaning "type of light pastry" is recorded from late 14c.; that of "small pad for applying powder to skin or hair" is from 1650s. Figurative sense of "flattery, inflated praise" is first recorded 1732. Derogatory use for "homosexual male" is recorded by 1902.
Old English pyffan "to blow with the mouth," of imitative origin. Meaning "pant, breathe hard and fast" is from late 14c. Used of small swellings and round protuberances since 1530s. Transitive figurative sense of "exalt" is from 1530s; shading by early 18c. into meaning "praise with self-interest." Related: Puffed; puffing.