9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[stuhf-ee] /ˈstʌf i/
adjective, stuffier, stuffiest.
close; poorly ventilated:
a stuffy room.
oppressive from lack of freshness:
stuffy air; a stuffy odor.
lacking in interest, as writing or discourse.
affected with a sensation of obstruction in the respiratory passages:
a stuffy nose.
dull or tedious; boring.
self-important; pompous.
rigid or strait-laced in attitudes, especially in matters of personal behavior.
old-fashioned; conservative.
ill-tempered; sulky.
Origin of stuffy
1545-55; stuff + -y1
Related forms
stuffily, adverb
stuffiness, noun
unstuffily, adverb
unstuffiness, noun
unstuffy, adjective
3, 5, 8. stodgy. 6. smug. 7. priggish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stuffy
  • Modern museum, heavy on design and technology, light on stuffy displays.
  • None of them wants to be responsible for a building that is too hot or stuffy, can't heat its water or is too dim.
  • If it gets too hot and stuffy in your house, you can open a window.
  • All the same, the idea of your work is excellent and it is a breath of fresh air in a stuffy old room full of stuffy old ideas.
  • As the weather warms, spending sunny afternoons in a stuffy art museum hurts.
  • And they naturally become involved with the milliner meant for the stuffy store owner.
  • If the taste problem is due to allergies or sinusitis, the doctor may give you medicine to relieve the stuffy nose.
  • It's especially popular with foreign visitors, even though they often get a somewhat stuffy greeting from the staff.
  • It's plush but not stuffy, and you'll feel comfortable in casual clothes or a suit.
  • The higher balconies can get stuffy in summer, and the restrooms are well below the standards of the rest of the building.
British Dictionary definitions for stuffy


adjective stuffier, stuffiest
lacking fresh air
excessively dull, staid, or conventional
(of the nasal passages) blocked with mucus
Derived Forms
stuffily, adverb
stuffiness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for stuffy

"poorly ventilated," 1831, from stuff (n.) + -y (2). Sense of "pompous, smug" is from 1895. Related: Stuffily; stuffiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for stuffy



Tediously conventional; pompous and self-righteous: He was inclined to be a bit stuffy in sexual matters

[1895+; fr stuffy, ''stale, lacking freshness,'' influenced by stuffed shirt]

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