Main definitions of muff in English

: muff1muff2

muff1

Pronunciation /məf/

Translate muff into Spanish

noun

  • 1A tube made of fur or other warm material into which the hands are placed for warmth.

    ‘Through Salt Lake City and Middle America womenswear is urban grunge: purple muffs, denim waistcoats, spearmint leather blousons and animals on mohair jumpers.’
    • ‘When they got back they hung up their coats, hats and muffs and went to the dining room for luncheon.’
    • ‘The traffic in eggs and the demand for breast feathers for ladies' muffs and headgear reduced the bird's numbers to a low ebb.’
    • ‘Camille took a dark tweed coat with matching muff and tam from the wardrobe.’
    • ‘In the morning of the next day, a girl in a pretty blue winter dress with a fur muff on her hands, came up the garden paths, smiling in pleasure.’
    • ‘An alternative to gloves, one that served me extremely well through 14 years of guiding waterfowl hunts, was a hand-warming muff worn around the waist.’
    • ‘If Gweneviere's hands were cold, she would simply snuggle them into her mink muff.’
    • ‘She looked oddly out of place standing before the uniformed soldiers, attired in quilted jacked and layered winter dress, wearing a fur hat, both hands thrust inside her fur muff.’
    • ‘Spent the day writing and the afternoon standing in my overgrown back garden wearing a frilly white skirt and having shots taken of my muff to illustrate a piece about pubes in the first issue of Scarlet.’
    • ‘The three male passengers, one older and two young, wore long coats while the young woman wore a bright red fur-lined mantle, sable hat, and muff.’
    • ‘Her bony hands were kept in a brown fur muff that completely matched her jacket.’
    • ‘The women gaily waved their large muffs in reply.’
    • ‘With her fingers inside the thumbless muffs, she couldn't work the snaps, and that was so frustrating!’
    • ‘For example, muffs of fox were carried ostentatiously by followers of Charles James Fox.’
    • ‘‘Some winter blankets and muffs for the children,’ she said.’
    1. 1.1A warm or protective covering for other parts of the body.
      ‘The muffs provide hearing protection with a Noise Reduction Rating of 24 dB.’
      • ‘While your customers can get by with foam earplugs or muffs, Bane recommends protection that is more sophisticated.’
      • ‘Browning offers Duo Ear Plugs for use on indoor and outdoor ranges as well as a full line of ear muffs, including an electronic muff.’
      • ‘There were people in warm, woollen scarves and thick, tall boots, and there were others in large, heavy overcoats and fluffy ear muffs.’
      • ‘With the current cold conditions, he will need to replace that considerable growth with a good warm chin muff!’
      • ‘The muffs sport low profile cups with soft, foam ear cushions and a unique cut-out shape to reduce stock interference.’
      • ‘These muffs allow shooters to clearly hear range commands and conduct normal conversations even at indoor shooting facilities, while protecting their hearing ability from damage.’
      • ‘Second, given the cost of guns and ammunition, buyers often tend to avoid additional purchases of shooting glasses, hearing muffs, earplugs, gunlocks and safes.’
      • ‘Especially useful are modern electronic muffs and plugs which permit normal sounds to be heard but which filter out sounds that exceed the safe decibel level.’
      • ‘This allows shooters to communicate freely and to hear range commands without removing their muffs, thus creating a safer range environment.’
      • ‘Active models have either electronic or mechanical components to limit or cancel noise; passive muffs are simply barriers.’
      • ‘The muffs feature special, high-density, slow-recovery foam ear cushions that contour to the ear.’
      • ‘The muffs have excellent noise attenuation in that they will bring the decibels down to a tolerable level.’
      • ‘Least likely to solve your wardrobe problems is the shoulder muff.’
      • ‘He described how he had to put muffs on the ears of his three-month-old son to protect him from the awful sound of all-night bombing.’
      • ‘I scoffed to myself behind my woolly face muff and kept marching with the Corporate Soldiers.’
  • 2vulgar slang A woman's genitals.

Origin

Mid 16th century from Dutch mof, Middle Dutch muffel, from medieval Latin muff(u)la, of unknown ultimate origin.

Main definitions of muff in English

: muff1muff2

muff2

Pronunciation /məf/

Translate muff into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]informal
  • Handle (a situation, task, or opportunity) clumsily or badly.

    • ‘the administration muffed several of its biggest projects’
    • ‘the catcher muffed a perfect throw home’
    • ‘If the Liberal Democrats do not make some handsome gains on Thursday, the party is going to have to ask itself whether that opportunity was muffed.’
    • ‘The U.S. muffed that opportunity to nip this kind of behavior, so destructive of the global marketplace, in the bud.’
    • ‘The Indian defence also looked off-colour and they were lucky not to concede goals as the Pakistani forwards muffed the chances that came their way.’
    • ‘A 50 break with four colours left put Hunter on the verge of victory but he muffed his chance.’
    • ‘One question had been put to the stutterer who, predictably, had muffed it badly.’
    • ‘It would be overkill to repeat how badly the board muffed the Brown Act in 2001.’
    • ‘It's the first time the Yanks have adapted a British show and not completely muffed it.’
    • ‘Would he stick to inane celebrity banter and cruise through it or would he do a wannabe Jann Wenner or Michael Parkinson job and completely muff it?’
    • ‘Rushing to make opening day, they muffed a few choices of venues.’
    • ‘I cannot think of a film project more deserving than Lord of the Rings, even if they did muff crucial sections of Tolkien's text.’
    • ‘And then I muff a change and we're both choking down the smell of clutch.’
    • ‘In general, Dobbin said, if the President completely mangles a sentence it should be noted in the story, but ‘if he's simply muffing the syntax it seems OK to correct it so as not to torture the reader.’’
    • ‘He was off-colour during England's opening match against France, which his country lost in the dying seconds of the 93-minute thriller after skipper David Beckham muffed a penalty.’
    • ‘Unless I muffed some really basic addition and subtraction it is clear that excluding the Falluja cluster undermines the statements in the Summary, as I said above.’
    • ‘Reporters who cover the military without understanding it don't just muff a few basic facts about what kind of soldier carries what kind of gun, or which service does what.’
    • ‘As the leader of a party he muffed his own speech today.’
    • ‘Dr Brash has had his opportunity to speak today and he muffed it.’
    • ‘In several quick sentences, Henninger, who claims to have grown up on rock music, muffs several simple historical facts about rock 'n' roll.’
    • ‘And then the guitar proceeds to hammer out the first lick and muffs one of the critical notes: duh-duh-da-da-doink.’
    mishandle, mismanage, mess up, make a mess of, bungle, botch
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1informal A mistake or failure, especially a failure to catch or receive a ball cleanly.

    • ‘‘The muff by Snodgrass was only one link in a chain of strange events (leading to the Red Sox victory),’ Lieb wrote.’
    • ‘While the direction in both films means we get lots of crazy compositions and flawed framing, at least we don't have to sit through scratches, drop out, or editing muffs.’
    • ‘As with most shows, bloopers abound in The West Wing, but the Gag Reel presented here is only about a minute of muffs: actors blowing lines and technical malfunctions of the set.’
    • ‘So I deserved what happened next — a walk, a few muffs, a couple of hits, and before I knew it the score was tied.’
    • ‘The Afton club, known for their heavy hitting, took advantage of several muffs by the St. Croix defense and scored three aces in their first.’
    1. 1.1British informal, dated A person who is awkward or stupid, especially in relation to a sport or manual skill.

Origin

Early 19th century of unknown origin.