Definition of huff in English:



  • 1[no object] Blow out air loudly on account of exertion.

    ‘he was huffing under a heavy load’
    ‘I was huffing and puffing to keep up with him’
    • ‘I don't seem to find it at all difficult to work up an enthusiasm for being outdoors, wrapped up all snug and cosy, rosy cheeked and huffing great breath-clouds into the frosty air.’
    • ‘And if you think the players are huffing a bit more than they ought to, that's because so many spectators light up during games, despite a smoking ban in sports venues.’
    • ‘Gwen huffed a bit, breathing in what she thought was going to be her last decent long slow breath before pasting and re-applying, getting everyone ready.’
    • ‘The readers who were huffing and puffing in Downer's defence, or accusing you of gutter journalism, most likely have their snouts in various troughs themselves.’
    • ‘He was wearing his work uniform, his hair flying in his face as he skidded to a stop before them, huffing and puffing from the exertion.’
    • ‘By the time Mr. Mineo had everything under control, he was huffing and puffing with the exertion.’
    • ‘While I still had the same muscle tone, I decided - yes, once again - to get back on the wagon and start huffing and puffing the excess weight off.’
    • ‘All very well to feel nourished in the billowy comfort of my nightie; huffing myself into work clothes this morning took almost an hour longer than expected!’
    • ‘After the pond flashed by, Carlile stared out the window until the train jolted and huffed into the station.’
    • ‘I could hear Milly huffing and puffing with the exertion of it.’
    • ‘She huffed, and proceeded to twist and wiggle until her legs were facing the aisle and she could look at him fully.’
    • ‘He huffed causing the hair in front of his eyes to fly up and land crazily in his eyes.’
    • ‘I was huffing and puffing, trying to get my breath back.’
    • ‘Patterson said: ‘He's short of match practice and he was huffing and puffing a bit towards the end but he gave his all and everything considered he did a great job for us.’’
    • ‘I'm sweating, huffing and puffing, smelling of lake, and trying not to swallow the bugs that keep hitting me in the face as I speed along the trail.’
    • ‘This evening I found myself popping and huffing a little as I breathed, not much, and it was at the height of the smoke assault, so I'm not getting silly about it.’
    • ‘Yes, I know that I just got through telling you that I've got my windows open, but I'm not out there huffing and puffing lots of the nasty stuff into my lungs.’
    • ‘They're off, huffing and puffing through this grueling physical education training under a blazing sun that's far away from home.’
    • ‘I wrapped myself around him, we kept up our quick pace for awhile until I felt his grip loosen and he panted and huffed and puffed, taking a mouthful of air and collapsing on my body.’
    • ‘Any athlete, and perhaps especially any runner, can tell you some of the most sublime, lucid moments of introspection come to you while huffing and puffing and pacing in the heat of sport.’
  • 2Express one's feeling of petty annoyance.

    [with direct speech] ‘‘Huh!’ Nanny huffed’
    • ‘Ministers huffed last week that they had no intention of developing Orwellian surveillance.’
    • ‘‘Thanks, I'm glad you think so highly of me,’ Adele huffed getting to her feet with her mug of tea.’
    • ‘‘I don't think your friend likes me,’ Dale huffed appearing a few seconds later.’
    • ‘‘I don't want to know the evidence,’ he huffed last week when asked about the possibility of Neville being the real wizard of the word.’
    • ‘She huffed in a slight sulk, she knew he was bothered by Karen's antics from earlier in the day, but he seemed to be cool about it.’
    • ‘I felt him staring at me as he huffed his displeasure.’
    • ‘Aeslyn huffed in annoyance, but halted to let Adelaide catch up, nevertheless.’
    • ‘The artist nearly huffed his way out of the offices of the fledgling humor magazine.’
    • ‘She inwardly huffed, knowing that this would go on forever until she stepped in to give the reluctant man a push.’
    • ‘Her escape unsuccessful Mary huffed with annoyance.’
    • ‘James waited until she finished huffing before he deemed it necessary to respond.’
    • ‘She huffs in annoyance and I can't help but feel a bit satisfied at having irritated her.’
    • ‘Tensing, his annoyance growing, Ikeda huffed at her statement in disagreement, beginning to feel incensed at the offense to his partner.’
    • ‘Cat huffed in annoyance, but continued to drag him along behind the maître de, who was unwittingly leading them both in the jaws of death.’
    • ‘And Megan roared with laughter while Krissy huffed out of annoyance.’
    • ‘‘For your information this little rat insulted me’ Debbie huffed sticking her chin up snobbily.’
    • ‘A light smile appeared on his lips as her face reddened and she huffed in annoyance.’
    • ‘A hand was waved in front of my eye, alternately shading it and exposing it to candlelight until the doctor huffed and stepped away.’
    • ‘‘Fine,’ He huffed brushing his shaggy black hair out of his eyes.’
    • ‘Pursing her lips in annoyance again, she huffed.’
  • 3North American informal [with object] Sniff fumes from (petrol or solvents) for a euphoric effect.

    ‘it is important to educate young people about the dangers of huffing inhalants’
    • ‘I sat in the back seat, with the bag pulled up around my face like I was huffing glue.’
    • ‘There's never enough food, so the kids decided to huff paint instead, as it makes the hunger go away.’
    • ‘Jose did a search on Google for this, and found on a website that it was possible to huff spray paint and get high.’
    • ‘Are you huffing your WW2 Tiger Tank model glue again?’
    • ‘For instance, their first disc featured a cover shot of a figure wearing a device used to huff shoe polish.’
    • ‘The two are sitting on a bed, huffing a can of compressed air and squealing at each other about how they can't feel their faces.’
    • ‘You might as well be huffing paint thinner or sniffing glue.’
    • ‘As soon as dad comes home from his three hour workday, mom will be in the basement huffing model airplane glue.’
    • ‘To prolong the high, many inhalant abusers continue to sniff, or huff, repeatedly over several hours.’
    • ‘In this case the dad chose to huff gasoline in the basement.’
  • 4[with object] (in draughts) remove (an opponent's piece that could have made a capture) from the board as a forfeit.

    • ‘if a player noticed that the opponent had failed to capture when the option was open, the player can huff the offending piece before the next move is made and it is removed from the board.’
    • ‘The detection of an opportunity to huff is not essential, but you may want to consider how it could be done.’


  • [usually in singular] A fit of petty annoyance.

    ‘she walked off in a huff’
    • ‘I'd like to ask Mr. Napper for his rationale in this behavior but somehow I think he wouldn't be able to explain it and would probably stomp off in a huff when asked.’
    • ‘Indeed, I wouldn't be altogether surprised if they did hire a few folks to storm off in a huff, and the rest followed of their own accord.’
    • ‘For Glasgow, the forwards matched their opponents for much of the time and winger Jon Steel proved that he hasn't spent the summer in a huff after missing the Canada tour.’
    • ‘In a huff of elegant but direct fury, Lorraine shot me another of her icy glares - one that so clearly conveyed Death - and stormed back into the house.’
    • ‘He told me to find out how many Scottish hacks would be flying to Austria to cover his oration and went off in a huff when I reported back that no one had expressed the slightest interest in the event.’
    • ‘They went off in a huff, waving their arms, calling me names.’
    • ‘A couple of people left in a huff, but most of us just stared in amazement.’
    • ‘The foreign owner of a factory, farm, forest or beach-house can go off in a huff, but the physical entity remains.’
    • ‘Farrell sticks around, while Renner storms off in a huff.’
    • ‘After resigning in a huff, and making statements like he would not reconsider his decision, it seemed like he was burning his bridges, taking a bold step, breaking a path.’
    • ‘In the above example of the jealous spouse, the husband reacted to the feeling of jealousy by announcing his displeasure to his wife and leaving in a huff.’
    • ‘When the hotel you've checked into takes a photocopy of your driver's license, you can storm out in a huff, but that's not a sustainable way of behaving, especially when they all start doing it.’
    • ‘It was all over in seconds, and it turned out this bloke had argued with his girlfriend, and had gone driving off in a huff, stopping in our little lane to consider what he was going to do next.’
    • ‘The young Liverpool defender went off in a huff last weekend, complaining he had not been given the first team opportunities he expected when he joined Wanderers on loan on transfer deadline day.’
    • ‘You don't storm off in a huff because you think you are more important than those who came to listen to you.’
    • ‘After a few more months of things escalating, Chris couldn't take it anymore, and she moved out one day in a huff.’
    • ‘Chrysler had no option but to march off in a huff.’
    • ‘He explained about the doctor's appointment, his admittedly childish reaction and my mom leaving the house in a huff.’
    • ‘Megan entered the Literature room in a huff, her temper flared and her eyes revealing her state of mind.’
    • ‘Rather than storm off in a huff, Hal arranged this co-headlining tour, providing a chance to see two bands that won't be playing in small venues for long.’
    bad mood, sulk, fit of bad humour, fit of pique, pet, temper, tantrum, rage, fury, passion
    grump, snit
    strop, paddy
    blowout, hissy fit
    bate, wax
    paddywhack, miff
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: imitative of the sound of blowing.