There are 2 main definitions of cuff in English:

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cuff1

Syllabification: cuff
Pronunciation: /kəf
 
/

noun

1The end part of a sleeve, where the material of the sleeve is turned back or a separate band is sewn on.
Example sentences
  • With ageless patch pockets, elasticated cuffs and waist band, this is a must.
  • The long-sleeve style has button-through sleeve plackets, adjustable cuffs and a back pleat.
  • For a unified look, use the same fabric for other elements, such as the collar, cuffs or front band.
1.1The part of a glove covering the wrist.
Example sentences
  • I watched with envy as 7mm gloves with double cuffs and dry gloves were donned by the more experienced divers, and resigned myself to living with cold hands.
  • Michael stretched out his arms to either side and grasped the edges of the beam, the metal studs on the cuffs of his gloves biting into the wood.
  • She tugged at the cuffs of her white gloves and signed.
1.2North American The turned-up end of a trouser leg.
Example sentences
  • Should men wear cuffs on trousers or are they really a thing of the past?
  • As a general rule, your trousers' cuffs should break and create a small fold when you have your shoes on.
  • In jeans made of this denim, the cuffs can be rolled up for colorful effects.
1.3The top part of a boot, typically padded or turned down.
Example sentences
  • It will have a high cuff for full ankle support along with the 90 mm wheels.
  • Just put a boot in the binding and press the cuff of the boot from side-to-side and look for wobble and slop.
  • It pulls the cable and snugs down the cuff of the boot as if you were operating a separate buckle.
1.4An inflatable bag wrapped around the arm when blood pressure is measured.
Example sentences
  • This is an inflatable cuff which fits round the upper arm and is connected to a mercury manometer.
  • He used a pillowcase to carry his stethoscope, otoscope, blood pressure cuff, and pulse oximeter.
  • They require you to manually inflate the arm cuff but they automatically measure blood pressure and heart rate.
2 (cuffs) informal Handcuffs.
Example sentences
  • She then handed me ankle cuffs and handcuffs to fasten on my ankles and wrists.
  • Each is handcuffed and wears leg-irons comprising metal cuffs joined by a 10-inch chain between the ankles.
  • Next day, he was driven 300 miles in cuffs and leg chains to Portland, Maine's largest city.

verb

[with object] informal Back to top  
Secure with handcuffs: the man’s hands were cuffed behind his back
More example sentences
  • He took the handcuffs and cuffed Joe's hands so that the cuffs ran through the rail.
  • Her arms are cuffed behind her back, her legs manacled together, and both are connected with another chain.
  • There, their hands were cuffed behind their backs 24 hours a day.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting a glove or mitten): of unknown origin.

More
  • Before it came to refer to the end of a sleeve, cuff meant ‘a glove or mitten’. Its origin is unknown, and it does not appear to be connected to the verb sense ‘to hit or punch’, which is mid 16th century and also of unknown origin. The expression off the cuff, meaning ‘without preparation’, dates from the 1930s, and was first used in the USA. It comes from the idea of a person making a speech and relying on notes they have jotted down on their shirt cuffs rather than reading out a prepared script.

Phrases

off the cuff

1
informal Without preparation: they posed some difficult questions to answer off the cuff [as adjective]: an off-the-cuff remark
[as if from impromptu notes made on one's shirt cuffs]
More example sentences
  • I think he'd be able to answer questions quicker off the cuff.
  • My remark was off the cuff and I stress that at that time I had made no calculation as to possible damage to the reversionary interest.
  • Does one memorise a previously written piece, read verbatim from a carefully prepared script, or speak off the cuff and risk drying up?
Synonyms
unrehearsed, unscripted, unprepared, improvised, spontaneous, unplanned
without preparation, without rehearsal, impromptu, ad lib
informal off the top of one's head

Derivatives

cuffed

1
adjective
[in combination]: a double-cuffed striped shirt
More example sentences
  • Finally, the sleeves are cuffed for a little twist of originality.
  • I've finally found socks - little cuffed ones from the Gap - that do not slide off La Lu's feet.
  • It is supplied with cuffed ends, ready for fitting attachments.

Words that rhyme with cuff

bluff, buff, chough, chuff, duff, enough, fluff, gruff, guff, huff, luff, muff, puff, rough, ruff, scruff, scuff, slough, snuff, stuff, Tough, tuff

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There are 2 main definitions of cuff in English:

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cuff2

Syllabification: cuff
Pronunciation: /kəf
 
/

verb

[with object]
Strike (someone) with an open hand, especially on the head: he cuffed him playfully on the ear
More example sentences
  • I laughed and cuffed him playfully across the side of the head.
  • Buddy cuffed Roy on the head, slapped a small shovel in his hands, and gave him a hard shove.
  • You've taught her how to use a gun, how to cuff someone and how to do a few punches?
Synonyms

noun

[usually in singular] Back to top  
A blow given with an open hand.
Example sentences
  • The second I exposed myself, the blow would come, a cuff across the head or shoulders that I'd feel for days.
  • He gave him a cuff rather than a vicious elbow, but once you raise your elbow you have to go off.
  • Once they reach oh-my-god-haven't they-grown proportions, buy a stepping stool for those moments when you need to give them a swift cuff around the back of the head.

Origin

mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

More
  • Before it came to refer to the end of a sleeve, cuff meant ‘a glove or mitten’. Its origin is unknown, and it does not appear to be connected to the verb sense ‘to hit or punch’, which is mid 16th century and also of unknown origin. The expression off the cuff, meaning ‘without preparation’, dates from the 1930s, and was first used in the USA. It comes from the idea of a person making a speech and relying on notes they have jotted down on their shirt cuffs rather than reading out a prepared script.

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