A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Huff (noun)

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Huff. n.s. [from hove, or hoven, swelled: he is huffed up by distempers. So in some provinces we still say the bread huffs up, when it begins to heave or ferment: huff, therefore, may be ferment. To be in a huff is then to be in a ferment, as we now speak.]

  1. Swell of sudden anger or arrogance.

    Quoth Ralpho, honour's but a word
    To swear by only in a lord;
    In others it is but a huff,
    To vapour with instead of proof.
    Hudibras, p. ii.

    His frowns kept multitudes in awe,
    Before the bluster of whose huff
    All hats, as in a storm, flew off.
    Hudibras.

    We have the apprehensions of a change to keep a check upon us in the very huff of our greatness. L'Estrange.

    A Spaniard was wonderfully upon the huff about his extraction. L'Estrange.

    No man goes about to ensnare or circumvent another in a passion, to lay train, and give secret blows in a present huff. South's Sermons.

  2. A wretch swelled with a false opinion of his own value.

    Lewd shallow-brained huffs make atheism and contempt of religion the sole badge and character of wit. South.

    As for you, colonel huff-cap, we shall try before a civil magistrate who's the greater plotter. Dryden's Spanish Fryar.

Sources: Butler, Samuel (98) · Dryden, John (788) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · South, Robert (158)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Huff (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: December 27, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=13007.


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