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puff

[puhf] /pʌf/
noun
1.
a short, quick blast, as of wind or breath.
2.
an abrupt emission of air, smoke, vapor, etc.
3.
an act of inhaling and exhaling, as on a cigarette or pipe; whiff.
4.
the sound of an abrupt emission of air, vapor, etc.
5.
a small quantity of vapor, smoke, etc., emitted at one blast.
6.
an inflated or distended part of a thing; swelling; protuberance.
7.
a form of light pastry with a filling of cream, jam, or the like.
8.
a portion of material gathered and held down at the edges but left full in the middle, as on a sleeve.
9.
a cylindrical roll of hair.
10.
a quilted bed covering, usually filled with down.
11.
a commendation, especially an exaggerated one, of a book, an actor's performance, etc.
13.
a ball or pad of soft material.
14.
15.
Chiefly British Slang. a male homosexual.
verb (used without object)
16.
to blow with short, quick blasts, as the wind.
17.
to be emitted in a puff.
18.
to emit a puff or puffs; breathe quick and hard, as after violent exertion.
19.
to go with puffing or panting.
20.
to emit puffs or whiffs of vapor or smoke.
21.
to move with such puffs:
The locomotive puffed into the station.
22.
to take puffs at a cigar, cigarette, etc.
23.
to become inflated, distended, or swollen (usually followed by up).
24.
(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.
verb (used with object)
25.
to send forth (air, vapor, etc.) in short, quick blasts.
26.
to drive or impel by puffing, or with a short, quick blast.
27.
to extinguish by means of a puff (usually followed by out):
to puff a match out.
28.
to smoke (a cigar, cigarette, etc.).
29.
to inflate, distend, or swell, especially with air.
30.
to make fluffy; fluff (often followed by up):
to puff up a pillow.
31.
to inflate with pride, vanity, etc. (often followed by up):
Their applause puffed him up.
32.
to praise unduly or with exaggeration.
33.
to apply powder to (the cheeks, neck, etc.) with a powder puff.
34.
to apply (powder) with a powder puff.
35.
to arrange in puffs, as the hair.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; (v.) Middle English puffen (compare Middle Dutch puffen, Low German pof, puf); (noun) Middle English puf, puffe; of imitative orig.
Related forms
puffingly, adverb
unpuffed, adjective
unpuffing, adjective
Synonyms
11. overpraise, exaggeration, puffery, flattery.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for puff
  • And the milk took on the flavor of the corn puff bats, so there was no escaping.
  • With a slotted spoon, push them down into oil until they begin to puff.
  • Both bear powder-puff flowers with impressively long stamens from spring to fall.
  • Relax by the big picture window with a swan puff, apple streusel, or eclair.
  • Better to take two aspirin or puff on something, not surrender a necessary sense of indignation if life is unfair.
  • puff is attached near the exhaust pipe of your vehicle.
  • When the command signal arrives, the nerve terminal releases a minute puff of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.
  • Blew as if he had been to puff up a pig's bladder.
  • Roll puff or plain paste one-eighth inch thick, and cut in rounds of correct size to cover inverted circular tins.
  • Roll puff or plain paste to one-fourth inch in thickness.
British Dictionary definitions for puff

puff

/pʌf/
noun
1.
a short quick draught, gust, or emission, as of wind, smoke, air, etc, esp a forceful one
2.
the amount of wind, smoke, etc, released in a puff
3.
the sound made by or associated with a puff
4.
an instance of inhaling and expelling the breath as in smoking
5.
a swelling
6.
a light aerated pastry usually filled with cream, jam, etc
7.
a powder puff
8.
exaggerated praise, as of a book, product, etc, esp through an advertisement
9.
a piece of clothing fabric gathered up so as to bulge in the centre while being held together at the edges
10.
a loose piece of hair wound into a cylindrical roll, usually over a pad, and pinned in place in a coiffure
11.
a less common word for quilt (sense 1)
12.
one's breath (esp in the phrase out of puff)
13.
(derogatory, slang) a male homosexual
14.
a dialect word for puffball
verb
15.
to blow or breathe or cause to blow or breathe in short quick draughts or blasts
16.
(transitive; often foll by out; usually passive) to cause to be out of breath
17.
to take puffs or draws at (a cigarette, cigar, or pipe)
18.
to move with or by the emission of puffs: the steam train puffed up the incline
19.
often foll by up, out, etc. to swell, as with air, pride, etc
20.
(transitive) to praise with exaggerated empty words, often in advertising
21.
(transitive) to apply (cosmetic powder) from a powder puff to (the face)
22.
to increase the price of (a lot in an auction) artificially by having an accomplice make false bids
Word Origin
Old English pyffan; related to Dutch German puffen, Swiss pfuffen, Norwegian puffa, all of imitative 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
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Word Origin and History for puff
n.

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.

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for puff

puff

noun

(also puffery or puff job) A specimen of extravagant praise, esp for commercial or political purposes; plug (1732+, puffery 1782+)

verb

: There is little need for us to puff this book (1858+)

Related Terms

cream puff, powderpuff


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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puff in Technology

algorithm
To decompress data that has been crunched by Huffman coding. At least one widely distributed Huffman decoder program was actually *named* "PUFF", but these days it is usually packaged with the encoder.
Opposite: huff.
[Jargon File]
(1996-10-16)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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