follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

stuff

[stuhf] /stʌf/
noun
1.
the material of which anything is made:
a hard, crystalline stuff.
2.
material to be worked upon or to be used in making something:
wood, steel, and other stuff for building.
3.
material of some unspecified kind:
a cushion filled with some soft stuff.
4.
Chiefly British. woven material or fabric, especially wool.
5.
property, as personal belongings or equipment; things.
6.
something to be swallowed, as food, drink, or medicine.
7.
inward character, qualities, or capabilities:
to have good stuff in one.
8.
Informal. action or talk of a particular kind:
kid stuff; Cut out the rough stuff.
9.
worthless things or matter:
to clean the stuff out of a closet.
10.
worthless or foolish ideas, talk, or writing:
a lot of stuff and nonsense.
11.
Sports.
  1. Baseball. the assortment of pitches that a pitcher uses in a game together with the ability to deliver them in the proper manner at the right speed to the desired spot:
    He saved his best stuff for the tougher hitters in the lineup.
  2. spin or speed imparted to a ball, as by a baseball pitcher, a bowler, or a tennis player:
    a pitch with plenty of stuff.
12.
Informal. journalistic, literary, artistic, dramatic, musical, or other compositions or performances:
Bach composed some splendid stuff.
13.
Informal. one's trade, skill, field, facts, etc.:
She knows her stuff.
14.
Slang. any kind of drug, especially an illicit one.
15.
Also called stock. Papermaking. refined and beaten wet pulp ready for spreading on the wire.
verb (used with object)
16.
to fill (a receptacle), especially by packing the contents closely together; cram full.
17.
to fill (an aperture, cavity, etc.) by forcing something into it.
18.
to fill or line with some kind of material as a padding or packing.
19.
to fill or cram (oneself, one's stomach, etc.) with food.
20.
to fill (meat, vegetables, etc.) with seasoned bread crumbs or other savory matter.
21.
to fill the preserved skin of (a dead animal) with material, retaining its natural form and appearance for display.
22.
to put fraudulent votes into (a ballot box).
23.
to thrust or cram (something) into a receptacle, cavity, or the like.
Synonyms: jam, compress, press, ram; stow.
24.
to pack tightly in a confined place; crowd together.
25.
to crowd (a vehicle, room, etc.) with persons.
26.
to clutter or fill (the mind) with facts, details, etc.
27.
(in leather manufacturing) to treat (a skin, hide, etc.) with a composition of tallow and other ingredients.
28.
to stop up or plug; block or choke (usually followed by up).
Synonyms: clog, obstruct.
verb (used without object)
29.
to cram oneself with food; eat gluttonously; gorge.
Origin
late Middle English
1300-1350
1300-50; (v.) late Middle English stuffen to equip, furnish < Old French estoffer literally, to stuff < Frankish *stopfōn, *stoppōn (see stop); (noun) Middle English < Old French estoffe, derivative of the v.
Related forms
stuffless, adjective
restuff, verb (used with object)
understuff, verb (used with object)
unstuff, verb (used with object)
unstuffed, adjective
well-stuffed, adjective
Synonym Study
1, 2, 3. See matter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for stuff
  • As the hardest substance known, diamond is ideal for cutting rock and other tough stuff.
  • IN almost every instance the sole reason to stuff one food with another is appearance.
  • One of his research fellows was producing exciting data, the kind of stuff that could shake up a field.
  • The best stuff is not always the latest stuff, after all.
  • One of the best ways to conserve water is to buy recycled goods, and to recycle your stuff when you're done with it.
  • Everybody trying to grow stuff has all the same challenges.
  • They are composed not of keratin, the stuff of fingernails, but of bone.
  • Gives you a mission, and they're small enough to stuff in a pocket.
  • stuff to be set in motion and stuff you could move yourself.
  • The move puts colleges at odds with major food corporations and with a public that buys the stuff in record amounts every year.
British Dictionary definitions for stuff

stuff

/stʌf/
verb (mainly transitive)
1.
to pack or fill completely; cram
2.
(intransitive) to eat large quantities
3.
to force, shove, or squeeze to stuff money into a pocket
4.
to fill (food such as poultry or tomatoes) with a stuffing
5.
to fill (an animal's skin) with material so as to restore the shape of the live animal
6.
(slang) to have sexual intercourse with (a woman)
7.
(tanning) to treat (an animal skin or hide) with grease
8.
(US & Canadian) to fill (a ballot box) with a large number of fraudulent votes
9.
(in marine transport) to pack (a container) See also stuffing and stripping
10.
(slang) to ruin, frustrate, or defeat
noun
11.
the raw material or fabric of something
12.
woollen cloth or fabric
13.
any general or unspecified substance or accumulation of objects
14.
stupid or worthless actions, speech, ideas, etc
15.
subject matter, skill, etc he knows his stuff
16.
a slang word for money
17.
(slang) a drug, esp cannabis
18.
(Brit, slang) a girl or woman considered sexually (esp in the phrase bit of stuff)
19.
(informal) do one's stuff, to do what is expected of one
20.
that's the stuff, that is what is needed
Derived Forms
stuffer, noun
Usage note
Sense 6 of this word was formerly considered to be taboo, and it was labelled as such in previous editions of Collins English Dictionary. However, it has now become acceptable in speech, although some older or more conservative people may object to its use
Word Origin
C14: from Old French estoffe, from estoffer to furnish, provide, of Germanic origin; related to Middle High German stopfen to cram full
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 stuff
stuff
early 14c., "quilted material worn under chain mail," from O.Fr. estoffe "quilted material, furniture, provisions" (Fr. étoffe), from estoffer "to equip or stock," probably from O.H.G. stopfon "to plug, stuff," or from a related Frankish word (see stop). Sense extended to material for working with in various trades (c.1400), then (1570s) "matter of an unspecified kind." Meaning "narcotic, dope, drug" is attested from 1929. To know (one's) stuff "have a grasp on a subject" is recorded from 1927. stuffy "poorly ventilated" is from 1831; sense of "pompous, smug" is from 1895.
stuff
1440, "to cram full," from stuff (n.); earlier "to furnish a fort or army with men and stores" (c.1300). The ballot-box sense is attested from 1854, Amer.Eng.; in expressions of contempt and suggestive of bodily orifices, it dates from 1952. Stuffing "seasoned mixture used to stuff fowls before cooking" is from 1538. Stuffed in ref. to garments, "padded with stuffing" is from 1467; hence stuffed shirt "pompous, ineffectual person" (1913).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for stuff

stuff

noun
  1. Liquor, esp bootleg liquor: The stuff is here and it's mellow (1920s+ Prohibition era)
  2. Any narcotic: Where's the stuff?/ He came out and seemed to be off the stuff (1920+ Narcotics)
  3. A woman regarded as a sex object; ass, cooz, pussy: classiest stuff this side of Denver (1909+)
  4. The various ways a pitcher throws the ball, esp curves, sliders, etc (1912+ Baseball)
verb
  1. To do the sex act; fuck • Chiefly British and most often heard in the passive imperative form get stuffed, a rude insult; used in any sense of fuck: No women, no children, no fun. Stuff this (1960+)
  2. To pitch using effective ''stuff'': ''He'd stuffed us pretty good before,'' said Brewers manager Phil Garner (1990s+ Baseball)
Related Terms

all that kind of crap, black stuff, eatin' stuff, the green stuff, hard stuff, hot stuff, kid stuff, know one's onions, know what one can do with something, rough stuff, tell someone what to do with something, white stuff


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
Idioms and Phrases with stuff
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for stuff

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for stuff

11
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with stuff