1 verb
1 (I) to breathe quickly and with difficulty after running, carrying something heavy etc: Catherine was puffing loudly as she carried the box into the room.
(+ up/along etc): Duncan passed me, puffing up the hill. —see also: huff and puff huff 1 (1)
2 (I, T) to breathe in and out while smoking a cigarette, pipe etc: puff at/on sth: Dr Foulger paused to puff on his pipe before answering.
a) (transitive always + adv/prep) to blow smoke or steam out of something: Don't puff smoke into my face.
b) (I) if smoke or steam puffs from somewhere, it comes out in little clouds: Steam puffed out of the chimney
4 (intransitive always + adv/prep) if a steam train puffs along, it moves while sending out little clouds of steam: By now we were puffing along at a good speed.
puff up phrasal verb
1 (intransitive, transitive puff something up) to become bigger by increasing the amount of air inside, or to make something bigger in this way: Bake for 25-30 minutes until the souffle puffs up about 5cm | Birds puff up their feathers to keep warm.
2 (I) if your eye, face etc puffs up, it swells painfully because of injury or infection: My eye had puffed up because of a mosquito bite.
3 (transitive puff someone up) to make someone feel very pleased or proud
puff sth out phrasal verb (T) puff out your cheeks/chest to make your cheeks etc bigger by filling them with air: George puffed out his chest proudly 2 noun (C)
1 the action of taking the smoke from a cigarette etc into your lungs
(+ at): a puff at a cigarette | have/take a puff: “May I have just one puff?” “Sure, I thought you didn't smoke.”
2 a sudden small movement of wind, air, or smoke
(+ of): puffs of smoke coming from the chimney | The water was calm and there wasn't even a puff of wind.
3 cheese/cream/lemon puff a piece of light pastry (2) with a soft mixture inside
4 get your puff back BrE informal to be able to breathe normally again after doing something that made you breathe very hard
5 out of puff BrE informal breathing hard and very tired: He only has to climb the stairs and he's out of puff!

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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