"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[kuhf] /kʌf/
a fold or band serving as a trimming or finish for the bottom of a sleeve.
a turned-up fold, as at the bottom of a trouser leg.
the part of a gauntlet or long glove that extends over the wrist.
a separate or detachable band or piece of fabric worn about the wrist, inside or outside of the sleeve.
an elasticized, ribbed, or reinforced band at the top of a sock or stocking.
a band of leather or other material, wider than a collar, sewed around the outside of the top of a shoe or boot to serve as a trimming or finish.
Anatomy. a bandlike muscle or group of muscles encircling a body part.
Furniture. a horizontal strip of veneer used as an ornament on a leg.
Medicine/Medical. an inflatable wrap placed around the upper arm and used in conjunction with a device for recording blood pressure.
verb (used with object)
to make a cuff or cuffs on:
to cuff a pair of trousers.
to put handcuffs on.
off the cuff, Informal.
  1. extemporaneously; on the spur of the moment.
  2. unofficially or informally:
    I'm telling you this strictly off the cuff.
on the cuff, Slang.
  1. with the promise of future payment; on credit.
  2. without charge; with no payment expected:
    He enjoyed his meal the more because it was on the cuff.
Origin of cuff1
1350-1400; Middle English cuffe mitten; perhaps akin to Old English cuffie cap < Medieval Latin cuphia coif
Can be confused
cough, cuff, koph.


[kuhf] /kʌf/
verb (used with object)
to strike with the open hand; beat; buffet.
a blow with the fist or the open hand; buffet.
1520-30; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Low German kuffen, Norwegian, Swedish dialect kuffa to push, shove Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cuff
  • He had no trouble locating the two cuff links but the tie bar had been lost in his sock drawer.
  • The playing is gentle, and the harmonies seem completely off the cuff.
  • The lab-based pain tests included wrapping a participant's arm in a frozen wine-cooling sleeve or a blood-pressure cuff.
  • That's one of the rotator cuff muscles, which have ended many a major league pitching career.
  • The second one was a similar test, only this time using a blood pressure cuff on maximum.
  • The full-length, over-the-cuff gauntlet seals out snow with a one-handed, super-cinch drawstring closure.
  • Squeezing the pump moves fluid from the cuff to the balloon.
  • When the cuff is empty, your urethra opens so that you can urinate.
  • The tendons in the rotator cuff can tear when they are overused or injured.
  • As the cuff is slowly deflated, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the artery.
British Dictionary definitions for cuff


the part of a sleeve nearest the hand, sometimes turned back and decorative
the part of a gauntlet or glove that extends past the wrist
(US & Canadian, Austral) the turned-up fold at the bottom of some trouser legs Also called (in eg Britain) turn-up
(informal) off the cuff, improvised; extemporary
See also cuffs
Word Origin
C14 cuffe glove, of obscure origin


(transitive) to strike with an open hand
a blow of this kind
Word Origin
C16: of obscure 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 cuff

"bottom of a sleeve," mid-14c., cuffe "hand covering, mitten, glove," perhaps somehow from Medieval Latin cuffia "head covering," of uncertain origin. Sense of "band around the sleeve" is first attested 1520s; sense of "hem of trousers" is 1911. Off the cuff "extemporaneously" is 1938 American English colloquial, suggesting an actor or speaker reading from notes jotted on his shirt sleeves rather than learned lines. Cuff links is from 1897.


"to put a cuff on," 1690s, from cuff (n.). Related: Cuffed; cuffing.

"hit," 1520s, of unknown origin, perhaps from Swedish kuffa "to thrust, push." Related: Cuffed; cuffing. As a noun from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cuff in Medicine

cuff (kŭf)

  1. A bandlike structure encircling a part.

  2. An inflatable band, usually wrapped around the upper arm, that is used along with a sphygmomanometer in measuring arterial blood pressure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for cuff


  1. To borrow money from someone, usually in an urgent way
  2. To charge something, esp on an expense account: No man feels he is getting ahead until he can cuff a few tabs on the firm
  3. To put handcuffs on someone: Cuff him and book him, Flanagan (1693+)
Related Terms

off the cuff, on the cuff, put the cuff on someone

[1920s+; first two senses fr the notion of keeping track of debts by notations on the cuff of one's shirt]

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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Idioms and Phrases with cuff
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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