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[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
First recorded in 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for stuffiness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A shabby little house in a crowded street, off at the back of somewhere; dirt and stuffiness and vulgarity all around you.

    Hyacinth George A. Birmingham
  • We stayed long after both of us had begun to notice the stuffiness of the air.

    The Worlds of If Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  • There was to be no heartsick shame, no stuffiness in my life any more forever!

    The Book of Susan Lee Wilson Dodd
  • Yet there is, of course, a difference between warmth and stuffiness.

  • I am thankful to say you won't find dirt or stuffiness anywhere in this house.

    Phantom Fortune, A Novel M. E. Braddon
  • After the stuffiness of my cabin, however, the pure air was vastly refreshing.

    A Cabinet Secret Guy Boothby
  • The stuffiness of the place was poisonous, and I ventured to lower one of the windows a few inches.

    The Modern Malady Cyril Bennett
  • We scarcely notice it, as a person in a stuffy chamber will scarcely notice the stuffiness.

    The Human Machine E. Arnold Bennett
  • stuffiness, stuffiness everywhere—it leads to nothing but stuffiness!

    The Book of Susan Lee Wilson Dodd
British Dictionary definitions for stuffiness


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 stuffiness



"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 stuffiness



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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