Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: pyffan, from the sound

puff

1 verb
     
puff1
1 [intransitive]HBH to breathe quickly and with difficulty after the effort of running, carrying something heavy etc:
George puffed and panted and he tried to keep up.
puff along/up etc
An old man puffed up to them.
He caught up with Gary, puffing for breath.

➔ huff and puff

at huff1 (1)
2 [intransitive and transitive] also puff away to breathe in and out while smoking a cigarette or pipe
puff at/on
Kinane sat in silence, puffing thoughtfully at his pipe.
3 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive] if smoke, steam etc puffs from somewhere, or if something puffs it, it comes out in little clouds:
Steam puffed out of the chimney.
The boiler was puffing thick black smoke.
Don't puff smoke into my face.
4 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]TTT to move in a particular direction, sending out little clouds of steam or smoke:
The train puffed steadily across the bridge.

puff something ↔ out

phrasal verb

puff out your cheeks/chest

HBH to make your cheeks or chest bigger by filling them with air:
Henry puffed out his chest proudly.

puff up

phrasal verb
1 to become bigger by increasing the amount of air inside, or to make something bigger in this way:
The pastry will puff up while it bakes.
puff something ↔ up
Birds puff up their feathers to keep warm.
2MI if a part of your body puffs up, it swells painfully because of injury or infection:
My eye had puffed up because of a mosquito bite.

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