Main definitions of cuff in English

: cuff1cuff2

cuff1

noun

  • 1The end part of a sleeve, where the material of the sleeve is turned back or a separate band is sewn on.

    ‘a red dress with a white lace collar and cuffs’
    • ‘His shirt cuffs showed from the sleeves of his blazer, each joined with a gold cufflink shaped like a W, and a small cross crafted from several diamonds centered in each letter.’
    • ‘A shirt that boasts nice cuffs and a well-designed collar is usually of higher quality.’
    • ‘The long-sleeve style has button-through sleeve plackets, adjustable cuffs and a back pleat.’
    • ‘On the left cuff of the jacket was a golden pin, with three interwoven circles.’
    • ‘For a unified look, use the same fabric for other elements, such as the collar, cuffs or front band.’
    • ‘David wondered what she was looking for - a sleeve cuff buttoned askew?’
    • ‘Simplify construction by utilizing existing sweater or dress sleeves as the sleeves and cuffs of the new garment.’
    • ‘It had bell sleeves, the cuffs of which covered her black lace enveloped hands.’
    • ‘A tiny, golden button on the cuff of his sleeve sparkled in the dim light, embossed with a winged human.’
    • ‘The silver ring, the symbol of his fealty, came off with little difficulty, then the buttons at the cuff of each sleeve.’
    • ‘There are even scraps of their garments, including a cuff from a sleeve, and a possible wall hanging.’
    • ‘The older man smoothed out the cuffs of his sleeves and leaned against his desk.’
    • ‘The sleeves were white and had an elastic cuff around her wrist causing it to take a bell shape somewhat.’
    • ‘Others wear knee-length shirts and loose pants, with the cuffs of the sleeves and pants trimmed with piping and lace.’
    • ‘So if you're wearing a '60s button-down shirt with retro cuffs and a big collar, wear it with a regular suit or a cool pair of jeans.’
    • ‘The neckline, underarms, sleeve cuffs, and gown back are areas that experience friction and are not considered effective microbial barriers.’
    • ‘The sleeves had large buttoned cuffs, becoming narrower from the second half of the century onwards.’
    • ‘Glue scraps of white fleece or fuzzy yarn to the red suit's cuffs and lower band.’
    • ‘With ageless patch pockets, elasticated cuffs and waist band, this is a must.’
    • ‘Made from a soft wool blend, it features a gray, ribbed knit finish along the cuffs, collar and waistband, with brown suede patches on the elbows.’
    1. 1.1 The part of a glove covering the wrist.
      • ‘She tugged at the cuffs of her white gloves and signed.’
      • ‘She made her way quietly to the checkpoint, stopping only to activate a small device she carried in the cuff of her glove.’
      • ‘I watched with envy as 7mm gloves with double cuffs and dry gloves were donned by the more experienced divers, and resigned myself to living with cold hands.’
      • ‘You need to loosen any instrument straps and peel back the cuff of your glove to get access, but it is possible to get a lungful of air into the suit.’
      • ‘Michael stretched out his arms to either side and grasped the edges of the beam, the metal studs on the cuffs of his gloves biting into the wood.’
    2. 1.2North American A trouser turn-up.
      ‘a pair of faded denims with the cuffs rolled up’
      • ‘I remembered looking down at one point and realizing the cuffs of my pants were soaked with blood.’
      • ‘Most men wear pleated trousers, which as a rule, should always have cuffs.’
      • ‘At any rate, she rolled up the cuffs of her camouflage cargo pants a few times so she didn't trip if today's class required running.’
      • ‘Always in their best grey suits, they nevertheless fail the sartorial test by wearing trainers which glare from under their trouser cuffs.’
      • ‘Of course, there are one or two trivial drafting upgrades - the kinds of parliamentary fashion changes that are no more important than whether trousers will have cuffs on them this year.’
      • ‘As a general rule, your trousers' cuffs should break and create a small fold when you have your shoes on.’
      • ‘My jeans were only slightly damp at the cuffs, so I rolled them up a little.’
      • ‘Should men wear cuffs on trousers or are they really a thing of the past?’
      • ‘Also, my clips seem to slip off cord trousers, leaving my cuffs to flap merrily in the breeze and play with the bike chain.’
      • ‘Golf is kind of like a sport - yet true sports shoes (like running shoes) look dumb sticking out from under the cuffs of regular trousers.’
      • ‘It would not do to be messy now, he thought, flicking a small amount of ash from the cuff of his trousers.’
      • ‘She managed to stay mostly dry, but the cuffs of her pants were damp.’
      • ‘Bending over, he rolled up the cuffs on his legs to just below his knees.’
      • ‘In jeans made of this denim, the cuffs can be rolled up for colorful effects.’
    3. 1.3 The top part of a boot, typically padded or turned down.
      ‘the ankle cuff provided support without restricting my movement’
      • ‘Common were the 1943 leather combat service boots with buckled cuff.’
      • ‘The low boot cuff allows you to maintain the tuck position longer and with less effort.’
      • ‘The internal liner isn't attached to the cuffs at the ankles which seems a bit strange to start with, but I reckon it is to help with the material sliding against the outer shell.’
      • ‘The sash wrapped around the top of his tight black pants, which came down smoothly into the cuffs of his knee high, black leather boots.’
      • ‘Many soft boot models are outfitted with a plastic hinged cuff for added support.’
      • ‘So, getting into your local indoor track, most all skaters will have the low cuff, five wheel roller boots.’
      • ‘The boot's plastic cuff has been pared down so that, while it still cradles the heel and lower leg, it now allows for some forward flex.’
      • ‘The rigid cuffs in well-made entry level skates adequately support weak ankles, even for overweight skaters.’
      • ‘It pulls the cable and snugs down the cuff of the boot as if you were operating a separate buckle.’
      • ‘Just put a boot in the binding and press the cuff of the boot from side-to-side and look for wobble and slop.’
      • ‘Hinged cuffs improve a skate's ankle support, forward flexibility, and stability.’
      • ‘Learn to trust the ankle support designed into a high cuff in-line skate.’
      • ‘A buckle on the cuff makes controlling the support easier.’
      • ‘It will have a high cuff for full ankle support along with the 90 mm wheels.’
  • 2cuffsinformal Handcuffs.

    ‘when the cuffs went on he had braced his wrists’
    • ‘They then attempted to remove him but he became so aggressive they were forced to put him on the floor of the van and restrain him with ankle cuffs.’
    • ‘The cuffs around her wrists were starting to irritate her skin, etching angry red marks on it.’
    • ‘I ended up in jail, and I had to go everywhere in ankle cuffs and regular cuffs.’
    • ‘A chain linked the two cuffs together, but it was still palpable that he was a prisoner.’
    • ‘Two of the guards fastened their cuffs around my wrists, and dragged me to my feet.’
    • ‘He was taunted for his religious beliefs, transported in painful cuffs and shackles, and denied family visits or telephone calls.’
    • ‘We were escorted inside by the big cop, hands tied behind us in cuffs.’
    • ‘They put the cuffs on his wrists and walk him down the hall.’
    • ‘Next day, he was driven 300 miles in cuffs and leg chains to Portland, Maine's largest city.’
    • ‘Each is handcuffed and wears leg-irons comprising metal cuffs joined by a 10-inch chain between the ankles.’
    • ‘She then handed me ankle cuffs and handcuffs to fasten on my ankles and wrists.’
    • ‘As with the suddenly long line of others, he had been stripped of clothing, cuffs holding his wrists and a chain connecting to the one behind.’
    • ‘He was forced face down on the bunk while the handcuffs were removed and replaced by nylon flex cuffs.’
    • ‘You go inside, and inside is a chair with cuffs and restraints.’
    • ‘And police then took him into custody and have more secure cuffs now on him.’
    • ‘I rubbed my wrist where the cuffs had been and scowled.’
    • ‘They placed cuffs on his wrists and Faith's father struggled even more.’
    • ‘In his hands was a length of chains leading to some iron cuffs, much too heavy for the being who wore them.’
    • ‘Their arms were in cuffs chained to the wall, and their toes skimmed the ground.’
    • ‘The clink of chains woke her up fast enough to see two guards slipping on huge iron cuffs, each with a long chain attached, to her wrists.’
  • 3An inflatable bag wrapped round the arm when blood pressure is measured.

    • ‘The most common error in blood pressure measurement is use of inappropriate cuff size.’
    • ‘Blood pressure is normally taken with a device that has an inflatable cuff that is wrapped around the upper arm.’
    • ‘A blood pressure cuff and hand-held Doppler stethoscope are required to perform this test.’
    • ‘You inflate the cuff on your upper arm by squeezing a rubber bulb.’
    • ‘Pneumatic tourniquets consist of an inflatable cuff, pressure source, pressure regulator, connective tubing, and pressure display.’
    • ‘He used a pillowcase to carry his stethoscope, otoscope, blood pressure cuff, and pulse oximeter.’
    • ‘The blood pressure cuff is inflated by hand to a level that obliterates the arterial pressure or pulse.’
    • ‘A BP cuff was placed around each subject's thigh, just proximal to the knee.’
    • ‘The next time a nurse inflates a blood pressure cuff around your bicep, pay attention.’
    • ‘At each prenatal visit, the health care provider measures blood pressure with an inflatable cuff that wraps around the woman's upper arm.’
    • ‘Additionally, proper selection of cuff size is imperative for accurate measurements.’
    • ‘The circulating nurse assists the anesthesia care provider by applying appropriately sized electrocardiogram pads, blood pressure cuff, and pulse oximeter.’
    • ‘They require you to manually inflate the arm cuff but they automatically measure blood pressure and heart rate.’
    • ‘Kids could have a lot of fun with a blood-pressure cuff and pulse oximeter, in a supervised setting.’
    • ‘Blood pressure is measured using an inflatable cuff.’
    • ‘This can occur if a blood pressure cuff can't inflate properly because your arteries have become severely stiffened.’
    • ‘For extremities, inflating a blood pressure cuff above systolic pressure assists in wound inspection and repair.’
    • ‘This is an inflatable cuff which fits round the upper arm and is connected to a mercury manometer.’
    • ‘Blood pressure cuffs are placed on the proximal and distal thigh, below the knee and above the ankle.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Secure with handcuffs.

    ‘the man's hands were cuffed behind his back’
    • ‘The patient may be handcuffed or shackled with a set of manacles that are cuffed with a chain linking the ankles.’
    • ‘The police cuffed me and put me in the car.’
    • ‘Unluckily for her, we were cuffed together, so she came crashing down with me.’
    • ‘His hands, still cuffed, were knotted on top of the table.’
    • ‘Her head is practically resting on my shoulder from exhaustion, and one hand from each person is cuffed together.’
    • ‘The figure came up behind her and cuffed one of the girl's wrists.’
    • ‘He took the handcuffs and cuffed Joe's hands so that the cuffs ran through the rail.’
    • ‘He was believed to have suffered a minor injury to one of his hands but his arms were cuffed behind his back throughout the 15-minute hearing.’
    • ‘Finally, the detective sighed in exasperation, and ordered his partner to take the teacher away, cuffing his hands from behind.’
    • ‘Lucas slowly lifted her and cuffed her hands behind her.’
    • ‘Her arms are cuffed behind her back, her legs manacled together, and both are connected with another chain.’
    • ‘He only let her drive it once, and that was because his hands were cuffed behind his back.’
    • ‘There, their hands were cuffed behind their backs 24 hours a day.’
    • ‘The guard pulled Rob to his feet and forcefully set him into the chair, cuffing his hands behind him.’
    • ‘Her hands being cuffed behind her back forced her into the most uncomfortable sitting position.’
    • ‘A small girl stepped down the narrow hall, wrists cuffed together.’
    • ‘I was on a bed, but both my wrists were cuffed to the bed.’
    • ‘He cuffed David's hand behind his back and then glanced at me with slightly more curiosity,’
    • ‘They held him face down, cuffed his hands behind him, and placed a towel over his face.’
    • ‘His hands were cuffed behind him, and he moved only when his burly guard signaled.’

Phrases

  • off the cuff

    • informal Without preparation.

      ‘they posed some difficult questions to answer off the cuff’
      as modifier ‘an off-the-cuff remark’
      • ‘Does one memorise a previously written piece, read verbatim from a carefully prepared script, or speak off the cuff and risk drying up?’
      • ‘He was one of our more experienced players but in saying that, although he tried hard on Sunday a lot of stuff he did was off the cuff and no use to the side at all.’
      • ‘They said they'd rehearsed but they would have been better doing something off the cuff.’
      • ‘His prepared, textbook address at the sod-turning ceremony on Tuesday somehow took a backseat to his entirely off the cuff remarks.’
      • ‘Imagine not being allowed a slip of one tongue, an off the cuff remark or even a second thought.’
      • ‘His appearances with Johnny never seemed to indicate that he was able to make humorous off the cuff remarks.’
      • ‘Everything I do here is off the cuff: that is the way we are.’
      • ‘This may seem to give disproportionate attention to a single off the cuff remark.’
      • ‘My remark was off the cuff and I stress that at that time I had made no calculation as to possible damage to the reversionary interest.’
      • ‘I think he'd be able to answer questions quicker off the cuff.’
      impromptu, extempore, ad lib
      without preparation, without rehearsal, impromptu, ad lib
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a glove or mitten): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

cuff

/kʌf/

Main definitions of cuff in English

: cuff1cuff2

cuff2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Strike (someone) with an open hand, especially on the head.

    ‘he cuffed him playfully on the ear’
    • ‘‘Good to see you back with us Lynn,’ I said, cuffing her on the back.’
    • ‘People said my brother was face down on the ground and they were kneeling on him and cuffing him on his head and body.’
    • ‘She comes running at him so hard her legs are a blur, falls on him, and just whales his head as she cuffs him.’
    • ‘I laughed and cuffed him playfully across the side of the head.’
    • ‘He shrugged, and was again cuffed soundly on the head.’
    • ‘You've taught her how to use a gun, how to cuff someone and how to do a few punches?’
    • ‘He bowed slightly and Ian cuffed him on the shoulder.’
    • ‘Simon reached over and cuffed Richard on the shoulder.’
    • ‘He cuffed his brother upside the head and dismounted.’
    • ‘He closed his eyes, I guess so he couldn't see it coming, and let her cuff him right in the chops, but he didn't budge.’
    • ‘It is sufficiently perturbed by this pandemic of kids carrying out surreal stunts on strangers to issue handy hints on how to spot a happy slapper who's about to cuff you one.’
    • ‘"Shut it! " the elder warrior hissed, cuffing his ears.’
    • ‘He often cuffs the kids, especially boys, no matter what they say.’
    • ‘Chester cuffs him on the back of the head, which she rarely ever does.’
    • ‘Whenever Ford tried to get to his feet, Karl cuffed him.’
    • ‘Buddy cuffed Roy on the head, slapped a small shovel in his hands, and gave him a hard shove.’
    • ‘Again, he was cuffed soundly on the head.’
    • ‘I remember the household woman I had seen the day he left cuffing my serving girl on the side of the head.’
    • ‘Some have attempted resistance, and many of those have had their ears cuffed by a judge.’
    • ‘He cuffs me at the back of my head, harshly, and I wince, tears stinging my eyes.’
    hit, strike, slap, smack, thump, thwack, beat, punch, swat, knock, rap, box someone's ears
    View synonyms

noun

  • usually in singular A blow given with an open hand.

    ‘Luke gave Flora a mild cuff’
    • ‘Once they reach oh-my-god-haven't they-grown proportions, buy a stepping stool for those moments when you need to give them a swift cuff around the back of the head.’
    • ‘They are unable to see the difference between a good old fashioned cuff on the ear and serial beatings.’
    • ‘He gave him a cuff rather than a vicious elbow, but once you raise your elbow you have to go off.’
    • ‘The second I exposed myself, the blow would come, a cuff across the head or shoulders that I'd feel for days.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

cuff

/kʌf/