[ spif-ee ]
/ ˈspɪf i /

adjective, spiff·i·er, spiff·i·est. Informal.

spruce; smart; fine.
Also spif·fing [spif-ing] /ˈspɪf ɪŋ/; especially British, spivvy, spivving.

Origin of spiffy

1855–60; dial. spiff well-dressed (origin uncertain) + -y1
Related formsspiff·i·ly, adverbspiff·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spiffy

British Dictionary definitions for spiffy


/ (ˈspɪfɪ) /

adjective -fier or -fiest

US and Canadian slang smart; stylish
Derived Formsspiffily, adverbspiffiness, noun

Word Origin for spiffy

C19: from dialect spiff
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

Word Origin and History for spiffy



1853, of uncertain origin, probably related to spiff "well-dressed man." Spiffing "excellent" was very popular in 1870s slang. Uncertain relationship to spiff (n.) "percentage allowed by drapers to their young men when they effect sale of old fashioned or undesirable stock" (1859), or to spiflicate "confound, overcome completely," a cant word from 1749 preserved in American English slang spiflicated "drunk," first recorded 1906 in O.Henry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper