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Origin obscure. Perhaps continuing Middle English pukkeren (to hoard, save, literally to sack, stow away in a poke or bag) with a change in meaning (compare to purse (to pucker)).
Alternatively, perhaps a direct alteration of poke (verb, or the noun meaning "a small bag").


  • IPA(key): /ˈpʌkə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌkə(ɹ)


pucker (third-person singular simple present puckers, present participle puckering, simple past and past participle puckered)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To pinch or wrinkle; to squeeze inwardly, to dimple or fold.

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pucker (plural puckers)

  1. A fold or wrinkle.
    • 1921, Aldous Huxley, chapter 3, in Crome Yellow[1], London: Chatto & Windus:
      The mouth was compressed, and on either side of it two tiny wrinkles had formed themselves in her cheeks. An infinity of slightly malicious amusement lurked in those little folds, in the puckers about the half-closed eyes, in the eyes themselves, bright and laughing between the narrowed lids.
  2. (colloquial) A state of perplexity or anxiety; confusion; bother; agitation.
    • 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd.[2]:
      What a pucker everything is in!" said Bathsheba, discontentedly when the child had gone. "Get away, Maryann, or go on with your scrubbing, or do something! You ought to be married by this time, and not here troubling me!"

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