Definition of fluff in English:



  • 1mass noun Soft fibres from fabrics such as wool or cotton which accumulate in small light clumps.

    ‘he brushed his sleeve to remove the fluff’
    • ‘I had to stand on a chair to put up the curtains and they were new and dropped fluff on the black fabric of the chair seat.’
    • ‘It reminded her of cotton, loads of little balls of cotton and fluff, fragile, whisked into the air by a fan that had been left on overnight.’
    • ‘Seconds later, an empty cup was on the floor and light brown liquid was seeping into the white fluff on the ground.’
    • ‘The particles are mixed with the air-laid fluff fibres to form a pad having a density of about 0.1 g/cm and a basis weight of about 1400 g/m.’
    • ‘This is a bit of research into belly buttons and their fluff (or lint, as some may call it).’
    • ‘There's a lot of pink fluff and fur littered about the place, hologramatic hearts on the walls.’
    • ‘The dress was trimmed on the cuffs and collar with soft, feathery, red fluff.’
    • ‘These products may also contain rayon and wood fluff, which is chemically derived from tree pulp and then bleached.’
    • ‘But he's a clever Baz, and before too long he understood why we were putting the cover around the cotton fluff.’
    • ‘The wind occasionally blew cotton fluff into the set, which made you feel really in tune to the emotional side of the play.’
    • ‘Try it, and if you succeed then blow firmly into the mouse to remove any fluff, hairs, and other bits.’
    • ‘I could have fashioned little lint men from the balls of fluff in my belly button.’
    • ‘The double cyclones still allowed other common domestic debris such as carpet fluff, thread, paper shreds, dog hairs and suchlike to pass out of the ‘clean’ air exit of the appliance.’
    • ‘Cocooned in layers of cotton fluff, I was lead to Mic's living room couch, still leaning into him but for more self-indulgent reasons than balance.’
    • ‘Yes, of course it's cotton wool fluff, but it's excellent cotton wool fluff nonetheless.’
    • ‘The law states that if you drop said toast on the floor, it will always fall butter side down, thus attracting a large covering of dust, colourful fluff, and cat hairs.’
    • ‘A piece of cottonwood fluff brought low by the rain settles damply onto the hood of the truck.’
    • ‘It was like dandelion fluff, or stretched-out cotton and, much like Cecily herself, it always seemed ready to float away.’
    • ‘Don't polish the silver too brightly or remove the fluff too diligently from your freshly starched soft furnishings.’
    fuzz, lint, dust
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    1. 1.1 Any soft downy substance, especially the fur or feathers of a young mammal or bird.
      • ‘Eventually their fluff changed to feathers and they were large enough to move into the coop.’
      • ‘My guess was that he was no older than four or five years old with white blond hair that looked like duck fluff stuck on his head.’
      • ‘We haven't had much new snow, so the trails were not that wonderful deep fluff, but rather a rut akin to those left on the Oregon Trail.’
      • ‘As Ever headed for the Oldsmobile, she jumped in a pile of snow and sent some white fluff powdering the air then gliding back into its pile.’
      • ‘I close my eyes and remember how a chocolate collapses in the cavey roof of my mouth as my tongue nudges it and air escapes and caramel or champagne liquid or pink fluff seeps out.’
      • ‘Some had sumptuous, lush growths while others, despite great care and attention, managed nothing more than a light fluff.’
      • ‘I dropped back down on my bed and patted down some pokey ends of loose fluff and feather down idly, and heard the door open.’
      • ‘At these times the parents take care of their mobile balls of fluff in the most zealous way.’
      • ‘They all turned to look at Ursula Harris, whose face was crimson, her chestnut hair in disarray like a baby bird's fluff, whose laugh was audible even here, a high garrulous tinkle.’
      • ‘There is cuddly fur and downy fluff to stroke, rubber-like blubber and armour-like scales to feel - mammals certainly come in all manner of wonderful varieties.’
      • ‘Fly fishing is more normally associated with the pursuit of salmon and trout but a number of species will show an interest in a large collection of fluff and feathers aimed at imitating a prey fish.’
      • ‘The chicks, tiny black bundles of fluff no bigger than golf balls, are very quickly tumbled into the water, where they swim around behind their parents at an incredible speed for their size, like little torpedoes.’
      • ‘Kel and Mithendil stood silently for a moment, watching the bobbing fluff of red hair disappear behind a building.’
      • ‘All that I could see was that sandy blonde downy fluff, the baby fat, and those crystal blue eyes that would probably change.’
      • ‘Gem Casper mentally cursed the salty sea air for reducing her hair to lifeless fluff.’
      down, fine hair, soft hair, soft fur, soft feathers, downiness, fuzz, floss, nap, pile
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  • 2Entertainment or writing perceived as trivial or superficial.

    ‘the film is a piece of typical Hollywood fluff’
    • ‘Think of Jacques-Louis David persuading his audience to remove the Rococo fluff from their eyes.’
    • ‘It's enjoyable fluff, a world removed from Carlyle's exploration of the darker recesses of the mind.’
    • ‘For all you know, someone might all want surround sound with remote, flat screen plasma TV and all the fluff!’
    • ‘And when it comes to yearly televised fluff (that is, if we have to choose one), there are Oscar people and there are Super Bowl people.’
    • ‘If you can see past the fluff and the pastels, the story itself is a positive one of feminist revolt and the status of women during the La Belle Epoque era in Paris during the early 1900s.’
    • ‘Simon: ‘I've heard all this before at weddings.… That was just a bit of light fluff.’’
    • ‘This is light fluff masquerading as heavy drama.’
    • ‘It's mostly brown-nosing fluff with little substance.’
    • ‘The debate on Tuesday was really a debate between substance and fluff.’
    • ‘I'd wager that if most of America had known the first finalist wouldn't even be selected until the second half, very few would have tuned in for the fluff.’
    • ‘It's fluff, but interesting fluff - a personalization of the computer on which you spend so much of your life.’
    • ‘Well, hang on to the remote because there are a couple of good programmes on and they're not the usual light fluff either.’
    • ‘The thirty-minute ‘making of’ featurette is of far higher quality than typical superficial PR fluff.’
    • ‘We viewers are absorbed in all the fluff and drama of Hollywood just as much as Americans.’
    • ‘Kyle had done a good job of convincing me that he was only interested in that which was real - the cold light of reality, not the fluff of romance novels.’
    • ‘But I can see why Evy wrote it; perhaps s/he'd like to see less fluff and more substance in this forum.’
    • ‘They might call it chick-lit, but the Scribbler reckons that some talons are emerging from underneath that cutesy downy fluff.’
    • ‘A pleasant piece of fluff, this light comedy, while laugh inducing, is utterly forgettable.’
    • ‘Creativity is much needed to promote not fluff, but substance.’
    • ‘More likely is that the fluff about the creative industries is useful for its propaganda value.’
  • 3informal A mistake made in speaking or playing music, or by an actor in delivering their lines.

    • ‘Bernstein's New York Philharmonic play for him better than they usually played for Bernstein, with glorious tone and no discernible fluffs.’
    • ‘Slow scene changes, line fluffs and anachronistic props appear occasionally.’
    • ‘After a couple of fluffs, Jeffers did what he's paid for.’
    • ‘Not assisting the actors is the unwieldy dialogue, which caused an unusual amount of line fluffs on opening night.’
    mistake, error, gaffe, blunder, fault, slip, slip of the tongue, solecism, indiscretion, oversight, inaccuracy, botch
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[with object]
  • 1Make (something) appear fuller and softer by shaking or brushing it.

    ‘I fluffed up the pillows’
    • ‘It had not yet failed, and indeed Mary put down the book, fluffed her own pillows, and laid back.’
    • ‘Remove from the microwave and fluff with a fork (this makes perfect rice every time and no pots to clean).’
    • ‘She turned and fluffed her hair, as she glanced at the line of orphaned children.’
    • ‘Then he silently fluffed the pillows and placed them, along with the extra blanket, under the sheets, and molded the lumps into a human form.’
    • ‘‘Damn it's hot,’ said the brunette, shaking her hair in the air while fluffing it out.’
    • ‘I shook out the sheep skin to fluff it, and he stretched out on his back on the table, his hand on the hilt of his seax.’
    • ‘She stomped into the middle of the kitchen, gave herself the most enormous shake to fluff her fur out to maximum effect, and began the big clean-up.’
    • ‘She then directed her little servants to fluff the pillows, and proceeded to brush my hair and pinch my cheeks for color.’
    • ‘Remove lid and fluff with a fork to separate grains.’
    • ‘They even have a pillow nurse who fluffs your pillow.’
    • ‘They wriggle their claws in the dirt, fluff out their feathers, and preen themselves.’
    • ‘Now the two sat in the corner, messing with each other's hair, continuously fluffing it up and then smoothing it down.’
    • ‘He stared at me and cocked his head, fluffing his neck feathers.’
    • ‘Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and season with salt and pepper.’
    • ‘After fluffing her hair, Tyra nodded at her reflection and blew a kiss at the mirror.’
    • ‘The whole head is fluffed up and gently back-combed, so that it looks scruffy and unkempt.’
    • ‘He brushed a hand across the top of his head and fluffed up some of the fur that had been pressed down during his sleep.’
  • 2informal Fail to perform or accomplish (something) successfully or well.

    ‘the extra fluffed his only line’
    • ‘Gary Power also directed this production and the fact that there wasn't a fluffed line on opening night is a credit to Gary's skills as a director and the commitment of the cast.’
    • ‘Mathers also fluffed a glorious opportunity when he failed to take Marcus Bai's pass with the home line breached.’
    • ‘Finally the star came to the tee, eyed up the ball and completely fluffed the shot.’
    • ‘Despite fluffed lines and frankly awful vocal extemporising this really is guitar-based music at its most thrilling.’
    • ‘Staring intently at the screen he grins and grimaces, laughing at some gurning by Ant, screwing up his face when Dec fluffs a line.’
    • ‘Lots of people had previous experience or had been to drama school so when I fluffed a line, I thought I'd blown it.’
    • ‘West Leeds got themselves in a rare position to attack the Dalesmen's lines but the belief had gone and they fluffed it.’
    • ‘For long periods in the first half, Leinster had orientation difficulty - kicking the ball out on the full three times, fluffing the odd lineout and knocking the ball on in promising positions.’
    • ‘But he fluffed his shot from close range, the ball then flying through the six-yard box where Speed and Stelios were unable to find a gaping net.’
    • ‘The home side continued to look the more urgent outfit and Hore shook his head in frustration as he fluffed a snap drop-goal attempt.’
    • ‘His performance yesterday - including fluffing a great chance early in the second half - displayed little to suggest that this will change.’
    • ‘They might fluff their lines a lot, the costumes might look as if they've seen better days, and the plot might be as loose as the screws in their heads, but this is family entertainment at its best.’
    • ‘We got into positions where we made a loose pass or fluffed it and they then shot the ball wide and took full advantage.’
    • ‘The matinee was very second dayish: flat, uninspired, with fluffed lines and little energy.’
    • ‘You could tell it was an early performance - Jim Broadbent fluffed a few lines and there was a little clunkiness in some of the performances - but overall it was a lot of fun.’
    • ‘As if to underline the point, he has narrator Sean Penn, in a deliciously off-handed moment, deliberately fluff one of his lines.’
    • ‘‘He was clean through from the halfway line but he fluffed it,’ Beardsley recalled.’
    • ‘After 29 years without an FA Cup semi-final they fluffed their big chance and missed out on a £1million pay-day in the process.’
    • ‘But Ducros fluffed his chance and allowed Sollitt to scamper across his line to make the save and then block again from a Shaw header.’
    • ‘Producers have filled DVDs of hit shows such as Doctor Who and Red Dwarf with extra features such as footage of fluffed lines and errors, and even extra scenes which never made it on air.’
    bungle, deliver badly, muddle up, make a mess of
    bungle, fumble, miss
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Late 18th century: probably a dialect alteration of 16th-century flue ‘down, nap, fluff’, apparently from Flemish vluwe.