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From Middle English doffen (take off), contraction of Old English dōn of. Equivalent to a blend of do +‎ off. Compare don, dup, dout, gauf.



doff (third-person singular simple present doffs, present participle doffing, simple past and past participle doffed)

  1. (clothing) To remove or take off, especially of clothing.
  2. To remove or tip a hat, as in greeting, salutation or as a mark of respect.
    The rustics doffed their hats at the clergy.
  3. To get rid of, to throw off.
    Doff that stupid idea: it would never work.
    • 1778, Charles Dibdin, “The Perfect Sailor”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Thus Death, who kings and tars despatches, / In vain Tom's life has doffed, / For, though his body's under hatches / His soul has gone aloft.
  4. (reflexive) To strip; to divest; to undress.
    • (Can we date this quote by Crashaw and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Heaven's King, who doffs himself our flesh to wear.



  • (remove or take off clothing): don

Derived terms[edit]