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huff and puff

Fig. to breathe very hard; to pant as one exerts effort. John came up the stairs huffing and puffing. He huffed and puffed and finally got up the steep hill.
See also: and, huff, puff

puff along

1. [for someone] to run along, puffing to breathe. Sam puffed along, jogging on his morning route. As Wally puffed along, he thought again about going on a diet.
2. [for an engine] to move along, putting out puffs of smoke or steam. The old engine puffed along, driving the small boat slowly up the river. The locomotive puffed along, not making very much headway up the hill.
See also: puff

puff (away) at something

1. to blow at or into something in puffs. She puffed away at the beach ball, blowing it up as fast as she could. Todd puffed at the fire until it grew larger.
2. and puff (away) on something to smoke something, such as a cigar, cigarette, or pipe. Scott was puffing away at his pipe. She is always puffing on a cigarette.
See also: puff

puff out

to swell out. The frog's throat puffed out, and we expected to hear a croak. The sail puffed out, and the boat began to move.
See also: out, puff

puff someone or something up

to boost or promote someone or something. Judy puffed Nell up so much that Nell could not begin to live up to her reputation. Don't puff up your own accomplishments so much.
See also: puff, up

puff something out

to cause something to swell out or expand outward. The frog puffed its throat out and croaked. The frog puffed out its throat and croaked a mighty croak.
See also: out, puff

puff up

to swell up. Her finger puffed up and she thought she might have an infection. His eyelids had puffed up during the night.
See also: puff, up

puff up (into something)

to assume a larger shape by filling up with air or water; to swell up into something. The strange-looking fish puffed up into a round ball. The fish puffed up and stuck out its spines.
See also: puff, up

huff and puff

Make noisy, empty threats; bluster. For example, You can huff and puff about storm warnings all you like, but we'll believe it when we see it . This expression uses two words of 16th-century origin, huff, meaning "to emit puffs of breath in anger," and puff, meaning "to blow in short gusts," and figuratively, "to inflate" or "make conceited." They were combined in the familiar nursery tale, "The Three Little Pigs," where the wicked wolf warns, "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down"; rhyme has helped these idioms survive.
See also: and, huff, puff

puff piece

An approving or flattering article, as in That was really a puff piece about the conductor, written by her cousin. The use of puff for "exaggerated praise" dates from about 1600; piece was added in the mid-1900s.
See also: piece, puff

puff out

1. To extend, stretch, or swell, by or as if by being filled: The sails puffed out as the breeze strengthened.
2. To cause something to extend, stretch, or swell outward: The wind puffed out the sheets that were hanging on the clothesline. Male birds will puff their chests out to appear larger.
See also: out, puff

cream puff

1. n. a weakling; a wimp. Don’t be a cream puff all your life! Join a health club!
2. n. a used car that is in very good condition. This one is a real cream puff. Only driven to church by a little old lady.
See also: cream, puff


in. to get drunk. Those guys go out and puff every Friday night.
References in periodicals archive ?
A split of 63 to 37 will reap a savings comparable to that of joining the GIC, Puff said.
What was Puff like as a youngster and how did she develop?
Write your answer on a postcard or back of a sealed envelope and send with your name, age, address, phone number and Chipper number, to CHIPPER PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON COMPETITION, PO BOX 30, Weaman Street, Birmingham B4 6BA.
In the first half, titled Acts and Words, Puff presents a close reading of law codes, documented court cases dealing with sodomy, and select writings of theological experts in the German-speaking parts of the empire and Switzerland.
The actress and singer dumped Puff in the middle of his guns and bribery trial earlier this year.
As a result Puff and Jennifer were both held by the police, who were reported to be deeply worried.
Transfer to racks; while still hot, horizontally slice the top third off each puff, pushing the tops aside slightly so puffs will stay crisp as they cool.
Puff noted it is a good time for potential candidates to join the board ahead of the election because a weeklong training session is scheduled for later this month.
STUNNING Jennifer Lopez won't give evidence at the trial of former lover Puff Daddy.
You can imagine whacking the cloud on its side, causing it to puff up a little along the edge," Ho says.
You make these cheese-stuffed appetizers much like ravioli, by enclosing dollops of filling in puff pastry sheets.
Town Administrator Nancy Colbert Puff said Hand was offered the job Friday and started Monday.
Nothing quite compares to the fresh bouquet of the fine brown tobacco wrapper, the spicy or peppery taste that fills your mouth as you puff, the meditative feeling that comes over you as you watch swirls of smoke waft through the room.
Studies show that 80 percent of smokers take their first puff before their 18th birthday.
Of course, right now his favorite part is when I huff end puff end blow his hair off his forehead.