Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
to swell up. Her finger puffed up and she thought she might have an infection. His eyelids had puffed up during the night.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
in. to get drunk. Those guys go out and puff every Friday night.