from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various fungi of the genus Lycoperdon and related genera, having a ball-shaped fruiting body that when pressed or struck releases the enclosed spores in puffs of dust.
  • n. Informal The rounded head of a dandelion that has gone to seed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various fungi that produce a cloud of brown dust-like spores from their mature fruiting bodies.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of ball-shaped fungus (Lycoperdon giganteum, and other species of the same genus) full of dustlike spores when ripe; -- called also bullfist, bullfice, puckfist, puff, and puffin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any one of various gasteromycetous fungi, especially of the genus Lycoperdon: so called from their habit of puffing or suddenly discharging a cloud of spores when they are shaken or squeezed after the chamber in which the spores develop breaks open.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various fungi of the family Lycoperdaceae whose round fruiting body discharges a cloud of spores when mature
  • n. any of various fungi of the genus Scleroderma having hard-skinned subterranean fruiting bodies resembling truffles


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • You both belong to the order of what I call puffball politicians. "

    The Devil's Paw

  • In stark contrast, was the autumn / winter collection shown by the flamboyant French designer, Christian Lacroix, inventor of the "puffball". news business sport the Daily Telegraph newspaper Sunday Telegraph

  • Tucker continues his column by, once again, raising the issue of Stewart's "puffball" 2004 interview with John Kerry, and continues by criticizing Stewart's interview with Obama in 2008.

    Hominid Views

  • In 1961 Norman Parkinson posed three models in daring cocktail dresses and puffball hats on a Florentine street, then snapped one of the iconic shots of 1960s fashion.

    Photo-Op: Modern Sculpture

  • At the base of the puffball, a dozen or so skyhooks hung, testimony to the failure of rescue krewes.

    GuildWars Edge of Destiny

  • The puffball broke free, rising into the air like a floating balloon.

    GuildWars Edge of Destiny

  • Just then, the puffball rose above the city, where a breeze dragged it suddenly away.

    GuildWars Edge of Destiny

  • In the hush, the asura, the norn, and the dire wolf watched breathlessly as a great white puffball drifted up over the edge of the pyramid.

    GuildWars Edge of Destiny

  • His black jowls hung loose as he tore past the stony slope where Master Klab had launched his puffball.

    GuildWars Edge of Destiny

  • “Wait just a moment!” shouted Master Klab, inventor of the flying puffball and, most recently, the caldera plug.

    GuildWars Edge of Destiny


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  • also: the fruit of a sycamore

    When I first knew the neighbourhood, at the turn of the century, Fifth Street was paved with cobblestones, and a genial City Council allowed a tall sycamore tree to stand quietly in the middle of the brick sidewalk in front of Mrs Albright's house, dropping its puffballs in season.

    —James Thurber, 1952, 'Daguerreotype of a Lady', in The Thurber Album (Penguin ed., so BrE conventions)

    Not in OED specifically in this sense, but its sense 3 includes: '(in extended use) something resembling or reminiscent of a powder puff in appearance, esp. the pappus of the dandelion, thistle, etc.'

    July 10, 2008