One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Used to convey the suddenness with which someone or something disappears.‘once you've used it, poof—it's gone’
- ‘Collect cells from someone vaccinated against anthrax, take the gene that encodes the resistance and put it into Agrobacterium tumefaciens, infect the plants and… poof!’
- ‘Sachi and I were still arguing about completely pointless things like what it means to fall head over heels in love, when all of the sudden, poof!’
- ‘No explanation of why, no apology, just gone - poof!’
- ‘You were freaking out beyond measure and then… poof!’
- ‘But the task force renames those data ‘metrics’ and - poof!’
- ‘We were best friends in 7th grade, and then suddenly - poof!’
- ‘And then - poof! - she was gone, hidden behind a veil of silence.’
- ‘As globalisation pulls hundreds of millions of self-reliant farmers off the land, they vanish - poof!’
- ‘Maybe the kid just wandered off and ate a mushroom and - poof!’
- ‘Well I tell you that once there was a 1500 word piece ready for the paper, and then - poof!’
- ‘If the miser tries to hoard the penny or spend it on himself - poof, a handful of ashes.’
- ‘This man rolls in dough, wouldn't it be a shame if suddenly all his money went - poof!’
- ‘Within half an hour, the persistent pain in my right hip joint just disappeared - poof! - and has yet to return.’
- ‘It is said that when a neighbor accidentally killed Gotti's young son when he struck the poor kid with his car, that the neighbor subsequently disappeared, poof!’
- ‘Big problem is that if Bugs gets hit by an enemy, poof!’
- ‘Nonetheless, just as I was fantasizing about how I could put my hands on that amount of money while remaining out of jail - poof, it was gone.’
- ‘Well, as they always say, it only takes a couple of bad sorts to move in, and, poof, there goes the neighborhood.’
- ‘But they were gone; poof, gone forever, meshed into that heap pile of lost loves.’
- ‘The evangelist of kitsch took one more bow, waved, and vanished - poof!’
- ‘Everything she'd been stressed about these past few days had vanished in a single night - poof!’
2Used to express contemptuous dismissal.‘“Oh, poof!” said Will. “You say that every year.”’
- ‘Oh poof - you're no fun anymore.’
- ‘Oh, poof! You do not understand a little soldierly enthusiasm.’
Early 19th century: symbolic.
An effeminate or homosexual man.gay, lesbian, gay person, lesbigayView synonyms
Mid 19th century: perhaps an alteration of the archaic noun puff in the sense ‘braggart’.
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