"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[if-ee] /ˈɪf i/
adjective, iffier, iffiest. Informal.
full of unresolved points or questions:
an iffy situation.
doubtful; questionable:
An early decision on this is iffy.
Origin of iffy
1915-20; if + -y1
Related forms
iffiness, noun
1. doubtful, unsettled, uncertain, speculative. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for iffy
  • With vampires, even the embraces are an iffy matter.
  • It is difficult to tell whether the economy's iffy patch has bogged down such investment.
  • My route is steep in places with loose scree making the footing iffy.
  • The mechanics of recall are delicate, so iffy and contingent.
  • Because the private sector realizes that there's little purpose in reinvestment when consumers are iffy.
  • Plans for where to go and when to go, however, remain as iffy as the economy.
  • Taking the car out on a pot-holed public road was an iffy proposition at best.
  • The theme is excellent, but some of the fill is iffy.
  • Most gritty fist-fighting veterans are that way because they're compensating for iffy athleticism.
  • Raising fees for various licenses and other state services is possible, but iffy.
British Dictionary definitions for iffy


adjective iffier, iffiest
(informal) uncertain or subject to contingency: this scheme sounds a bit iffy
Word Origin
C20: from if + -y1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for iffy

1937, American English, from if + -y (2). Originally associated with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for iffy


  1. Uncertain; doubtful; improbable: His chances were a bit iffy/ Would the DA take the case, knowing the chances of a conviction would be iffy?
  2. dicey (1937+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for iffy

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for iffy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with iffy

Nearby words for iffy