What does cuffing mean?

Linking up in a relationship with a person

Cuffing is when two people enter into an exclusive dating relationship. It comes from handcuffs that link two hands together.

The origins of the cuffing term are unclear. However, some sources trace its usage back to 2011, when it was used in several college newspapers to refer to people getting into serious relationships.

Cuffing grew in popularity in the fall of 2013 on social media, then became prominent in the fall of 2016. Since then, it has often spiked in popularity every year from September to December (often referred to as cuffing season).

There are various motives for cuffing. The two biggest reasons are 1) to settle down with someone in an exclusive relationship with the hopes it ends with wedding bells, or 2) to spend the fall and winter holidays with a person so they aren't alone or badgered with obnoxious relationship questions from family.


Where's Sean?
He's at the movies too busy cuffing with the first girl he sees
Determined cuffing at its finest
Determined cuffing at its finest

Related Slang


Updated December 28, 2021

Cuffing definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Cuffing" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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