puff(redirected from puffing)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
huff and puff
1. To struggle or exert oneself physically. We huffed and puffed, but we did finally manage to get the couch up the steps.
2. To breathe very heavily or laboriously. Running to catch the bus has left me huffing and puffing. You really should quit smoking—look at how you're huffing and puffing after a single flight of stairs!
3. To make an exaggerated show of one's anger, often by making empty threats. A: "Are we in trouble?" B: "No, just let him huff and puff until he's done—he'll forget all about it by tomorrow."
To swell or expand in size or to cause something to expand or swell. My hand puffed out after the bee stung me. Some male birds puff out their colorful plumage to try to attract a mate.
To swell or expand in size or to cause something to expand or swell. My hand puffed up after the bee stung me. Some male birds puff up their colorful plumage to try to attract a mate.
To move or progress at a slow (possibly labored) but steady pace. Don't worry, the project is still puffing along, in spite of all the setbacks. I'd be happy to go for a run with you, as long as you don't mind me puffing along.
A piece of writing that focuses on giving exaggerated praise or compliments to someone or something, rather than offering critical or insightful commentary. I thought the article would look at the process the author goes through when writing a new book, but it's just a puff piece. That magazine is nothing but puff pieces anymore—every issue is a "Best of" list.
puff away (at something)
To continuously take brief inhalations of, from, or out of something, such as a cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc. He hunched over the typewriter, puffing away at the cigarette while he tried to come up with an idea. My grandfather always used to sit on the sofa with his pip after dinner, puffing away like a little human chimney.
be puffed up with pride
To be acting in a conceited or arrogant manner. The interviewer won't like you if you're all puffed up with pride when you meet with her.
in all (one's) puff
In or during one's entire life. Primarily heard in UK. In all my puff, I've never seen someone guzzle down soda like you can!
puff and pant
To breathe very heavily or laboriously. He sat puffing and panting for several minutes after sprinting to catch the bus. You really should quit smoking—look at how you're puffing and panting after a single flight of stairs!
puff and blow
1. To breathe very heavily or laboriously. Running to catch the bus has left me puffing and blowing. You really should quit smoking—look at how you're puffing and blowing after a single flight of stairs!
2. To make an exaggerated show of one's anger, often by making empty threats. The boss likes to puff and blow when things don't go right, but don't pay too much attention to him. My parents puffed and blew when I told them I was dropping out, but in the end they came to respect my decision.
1. Someone deemed to be weak and cowardly. That guy's a total cream puff—there's no way he'll show up to meet you in the boxing ring.
2. A used car that has been very well maintained. I wouldn't buy a used car unless it's a total cream puff.
puff at (something)
To take brief inhalations of, from, or out of something, such as a cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc. He hunched over the typewriter, puffing at the cigarette while he tried to come up with an idea. My grandfather always used to sit on the sofa puffing at his pipe after dinner, billowing smoke like a little human chimney.
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.
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.
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.
huff and puff1 breathe heavily with exhaustion. 2 express your annoyance in an obvious or threatening way.
in all your puffin your whole life. informal, chiefly British
ˌhuff and ˈpuff
1 breathe heavily while making a great physical effort: They huffed and puffed as they carried the sofa upstairs.
2 make it obvious that you are annoyed about something without doing anything to change the situation: After much huffing and puffing, he agreed to help.
ˌpuff and ˈpant/ˈblow(informal) breathe quickly and loudly through your mouth after physical effort: Eventually, puffing and panting, he arrived at the gate.
be puffed up with ˈpride, etc.be too full of pride, etc: He felt grown-up, puffed up with self-importance.
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.