puff up

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English[edit]

A cat puffing up in a threat display.

Verb[edit]

puff up (third-person singular simple present puffs up, present participle puffing up, simple past and past participle puffed up)

  1. (transitive) To inflate with air.
    We puffed up the balloons.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To fluff up, such as an animal raising its fur or feathers to appear larger or conserve body heat.
    Small birds puff up while sleeping to keep warm.
    The angry cat hissed and puffed up its fur.
  3. (intransitive) To swell due to injury or illness.
    My hand puffed up where the cat had scratched me.
  4. (figuratively, intransitive) To become proud. (Often written as puffed up with pride.)

Derived terms[edit]

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