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Etymology 1[edit]

15th century, dialectal, in noun sense “stupid fellow”.[1][2] Adjective sense “surly, displeased” from 1832.[2]


chuff (comparative more chuff, superlative most chuff)

  1. (Britain) Surly; annoyed; displeased; disgruntled.
  2. (Britain, dialectal) stupid; churlish
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wright to this entry?)


chuff (plural chuffs)

  1. A coarse or stupid fellow.

Etymology 2[edit]


Compare chug and puff.


chuff (third-person singular simple present chuffs, present participle chuffing, simple past and past participle chuffed)

  1. (intransitive) To make noisy puffing sounds, as of a steam locomotive.
    • 1912, Katherine Mansfield, "The Woman At The Store", Selected Short Stories
      The horses stumbled along, coughing and chuffing.
    • 1928, D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
      ... and the small lit up train that chuffed past in the cutting made it seem like real night.
    • 1990, John Updike, Rabbit at Rest
      The pigeons chuff and chortle off in indignant disappointment.
  2. (Britain, informal) To break wind.
  3. To intermittantly extinguish and reignite a powder charge.
    • 1992, Luigi De Luca & ‎Martin Summerfield, Nonsteady Burning and Combustion Stability of Solid Propellants, →ISBN:
      The original work of Huffington on chuffing and oscillatory burning of cordite goes back to the beginning of the 1950s.
    • 1999, William G. Reinecke, Ballistics 18th International Symposium, →ISBN, page 357:
      Chuffing followed by full recovery to normal functioning (Figure 3)
    • 2014, V. I. Feodosiev & ‎G. B. Siniarev, Introduction to Rocket Technology, →ISBN, page 145:
      The pressure at which chuffing occurs depends on the powder composition and on the temperature of the charge. The lowering of the initial charge temperature facilitates chuffing.


chuff (countable and uncountable, plural chuffs)

  1. (scriptwriting, uncountable) Superfluous small talk that is free of conflict, offers no character development, description or insight, and does not advance the story or plot.
  2. A breathy noise produced by a tiger, similar in function to a cat's purr.

Etymology 3[edit]

1520s, in sense “swollen with fat”; circa 1860, British dialect, in sense “pleased”.[2] Possibly related to “coarse, stupid, fat-headed” sense.


chuff (comparative more chuff, superlative most chuff)

  1. (Britain) Pleased.
  2. (obsolete) Swollen with fat.
  3. (vulgar slang, of cheeks) Swollen.
Derived terms[edit]


chuff (plural chuffs)

  1. (vulgar slang) The vagina.
  2. (vulgar slang) Anus.
    The car behind was following too close — it was right up my chuff.


  1. ^ A Dictionary of the English Language Samuel Johnson (W Strahan ‧London, 15 April 1755)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 chuff” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.