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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 make exaggerated, pointless 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."
See also: and, huff, puff

puff (something) out

To swell or expand in size; to cause something to expand or swell. My hand puffed out after the bee stung me. The male birds puff out their colorful plumage to try and attract a mate.
See also: out, puff

puff (something) up

To swell or expand in size; to cause something to expand or swell. My hand puffed up after the bee stung me. The male birds puff up their colorful plumage to try and attract a mate.
See also: puff, up

puff along

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.
See also: puff

puff piece

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.
See also: piece, puff

puff away (at something)

To continuously take brief inhalations of, from, or out of something. 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.
See also: away, puff

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.
See also: pride, puff, up

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!
See also: all, puff

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!
See also: and, pant, puff

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 be blusterously angry or make disgruntled, 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.
See also: and, blow, puff

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

huff and puff

1 breathe heavily with exhaustion. 2 express your annoyance in an obvious or threatening way.
See also: and, huff, puff

in all your puff

in your whole life. informal, chiefly British
See also: all, puff

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.
See also: and, huff, puff

ˌpuff and ˈpant/ˈblow

(informal) breathe quickly and loudly through your mouth after physical effort: Eventually, puffing and panting, he arrived at the gate.
See also: and, blow, pant, puff

be puffed up with ˈpride, etc.

be too full of pride, etc: He felt grown-up, puffed up with self-importance.
See also: puff, up

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 ?
Yet, the Duplasses turn "The Puffy Chair" on a dime from farce to pathos.
Noskin and Kalish also described a rare case of chronic cocaine abuse in which a patient developed Pott's puffy tumor, which is a subperiosteal abscess of the frontal bone that is associated with frontal osteomyelitis.
WORTHY OF REVIEW FOR THEIR name alone, Puffy AmiYumi is a Japanese girl duo full of electronic zest and flash, and though singing almost solely in Japanese, their music rings pure Americana.
Soon his granddaughter can make music just like the music she imagined one day while gazing at an azure sky filled with puffy white clouds--"music from the sky".
They match the pastel shade of the puffy ski jacket she's wearing, if not the topic of her conversation, which is rust.
The company's line-up includes titles based on popular entertainment brands such as VIZ Media's hit anime series SHONEN JUMP'S NARUTO, Cartoon Network Enterprises' Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, and Flushed Away(TM) from DreamWorks Animation and Aardman, as well as innovative offerings for the PSP(TM) (PlayStation(R)Portable) system that include Dead Head Fred(TM) and WTF: Work Time Fun(TM).
13 (ANI): Incidentally, the puffy cornmeal snacks of Cheetos made their runway debut at New York Fashion Week 2018.
Korean women are reportedly spending large sums of money on cosmetic surgery to create eye-bags - puffy pouches of skin under each eye.
Three winners will each receive a prize pack, containing a kite, a backpack, a skateboard, a pairs game, puffy stickers, character straws, a pencil case, a frisbee and a kid's T-shirt.
Ramsay, 44, was recently seen with a puffy face - a side effect of a hair transplant - amid rumours he'd also had cosmetic surgery.
Orsini said it had looked ill, one of its cheeks puffy with cysts and part of its long tail lopped off, a sign of neglect.
The Toffeemen won it hands down with Puffy declaring: "I'd have t o rock with Everton
Combs' lawyers argued that Puffy was the victim of people seeking to profit from his fame.
When you hear that you can lose up to 14lbs in a week and it doesn't hurt, you don't have to starve and you could banish cellulite, puffy skin and get a flatter tum too, sounds just too good to resist, doesn't it?
Some 2,000 light-years from Earth, an elderly star has ejected its puffy outer layers to form a luminous, jewel-like ball of gas.