nounNorth American & Scottish
- It's about 60 years since this area has burned, and duff is all that stuff that collects for years.
- In 1967 a wildfire there burned a virgin stand of larch, Douglas-fir, and lodgepole pine, killing mature trees and burning the duff to the mineral soil.
- The forest floor on my land, with its dense layer of needles and duff, burned hotter and harder than the grassy savanna.
adjectiveBritish informal Back to top
- There isn't a duff track, and while those lyrics are often too clever for their own good, the accompanying tunes usually make up for that.
- Gradually she realised that, in the scale of things, picking a duff outfit wasn't so terrible.
- Although deep down we all know that rugby, like football, is just a game, it's still a form of entertainment and if your favourite rock group starts playing duff songs you stop going.
- You see a note on one of the five lines, forget the key signature at the beginning of the line, play it standard rather than as a sharp and end up with one of those horrible duff notes that means you have to stop playing and start from scratch.
- He never hit a duff note, running through Road To Mandalay, Eternity, She's The One and Millennium.
- I was thoroughly captivated by the piano concerto, even though I am sure I heard a couple of duff notes.
late 18th century (denoting something worthless): of unknown origin.
verb[with object] British informal
- Last time we met, I kept thumping her on the leg as a way demonstrating my affection and she duffed me up.
- What was he going to do, duff me up on the street in front of dozens of people?
- He insists on sitting on the mat where the door might slam on him, and on challenging the same old bruiser of a female four doors down, who duffs him up every time, leaving him cut and scabby.
- It looks as if your ball is just sitting up, but you have got to be careful when you take a big swing because your feet move and you can duff your shot entirely.
- He proceeded to duff his next two shots and was 150 yards out when he hit his 4th shot into the hole for a birdie four.
- I'd probably duff my first tee shot at the Masters, but I wouldn't walk away from a challenge.
nounNorth American informal
- A lifetime of sitting on my duff in front of a computer while wolfing down fast food and snacks fried in lesser snacks has made me too weak and lazy to get up and start any sort of effective protest or take any productive action.
- Another two employees were sitting on their duffs on chairs, also doing nothing, though they were apparently stationed where they were stationed for a reason.
- In other words, instead of focusing on the obvious and most media-friendly candidates, let's get off our duffs and not become the branding arm for celebrities, whether journalists or not.
mid 19th century: of unknown origin.
Entry from British & World English dictionary
noun(in phrase up the duff) British informal
1940s (originally Australian): perhaps related to duff1.