[ stuhf ]
See synonyms for: stuffstuffedstuffing on

  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.

  1. material of some unspecified kind: a cushion filled with some soft stuff.

  2. Chiefly British. woven material or fabric, especially wool.

  3. property, as personal belongings or equipment; things.

  4. something to be swallowed, as food, drink, or medicine.

  5. inward character, qualities, or capabilities: to have good stuff in one.

  6. Informal. action or talk of a particular kind: kid stuff; Cut out the rough stuff.

  7. worthless things or matter: to clean the stuff out of a closet.

  8. worthless or foolish ideas, talk, or writing: a lot of stuff and nonsense.

  9. Sports.

    • 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.

    • spin or speed imparted to a ball, as by a baseball pitcher, a bowler, or a tennis player: a pitch with plenty of stuff.

  10. Informal. journalistic, literary, artistic, dramatic, musical, or other compositions or performances: Bach composed some splendid stuff.

  11. Informal. one's trade, skill, field, facts, etc.: She knows her stuff.

  12. Slang. any kind of drug, especially an illicit one.

  13. Also called stock. Papermaking. refined and beaten wet pulp ready for spreading on the wire.

verb (used with object)
  1. to fill (a receptacle), especially by packing the contents closely together; cram full.

  2. to fill (an aperture, cavity, etc.) by forcing something into it.

  1. to fill or line with some kind of material as a padding or packing.

  2. to fill or cram (oneself, one's stomach, etc.) with food.

  3. Cooking. to fill (meat, vegetables, etc.) with seasoned breadcrumbs or other savory matter.

  4. to fill the preserved skin of (a dead animal) with material, retaining its natural form and appearance for display.

  5. to put fraudulent votes into (a ballot box).

  6. to thrust or cram (something) into a receptacle, cavity, or the like.

  7. to pack tightly in a confined place; crowd together.

  8. to crowd (a vehicle, room, etc.) with persons.

  9. to clutter or fill (the mind) with facts, details, etc.

  10. (in leather manufacturing) to treat (a skin, hide, etc.) with a composition of tallow and other ingredients.

  11. to stop up or plug; block or choke (usually followed by up).

verb (used without object)
  1. to cram oneself with food; eat gluttonously; gorge.

Origin of stuff

First recorded in 1300–50; (verb) late Middle English stuffen “to equip, furnish,” from Old French estoffer literally, “to stuff,” from unattested Frankish stopfōn, stoppōn; (noun) Middle English, from Old French estoffe, derivative of the verb; see stop

synonym study For stuff

1-3. See matter.

Other words for stuff

Other words from stuff

  • stuffless, adjective
  • re·stuff, verb (used with object)
  • un·der·stuff, verb (used with object)
  • un·stuff, verb (used with object)
  • un·stuffed, adjective
  • well-stuffed, adjective

Words Nearby stuff Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stuff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stuff


/ (stʌf) /

verb(mainly tr)
  1. to pack or fill completely; cram

  2. (intr) to eat large quantities

  1. to force, shove, or squeeze: to stuff money into a pocket

  2. to fill (food such as poultry or tomatoes) with a stuffing

  3. to fill (an animal's skin) with material so as to restore the shape of the live animal

  4. slang to have sexual intercourse with (a woman)

  5. tanning to treat (an animal skin or hide) with grease

  6. US and Canadian to fill (a ballot box) with a large number of fraudulent votes

  7. (in marine transport) to pack (a container): See also stuffing and stripping

  8. slang to ruin, frustrate, or defeat

  1. the raw material or fabric of something

  2. woollen cloth or fabric

  1. any general or unspecified substance or accumulation of objects

  2. stupid or worthless actions, speech, ideas, etc

  3. subject matter, skill, etc: he knows his stuff

  4. a slang word for money

  5. slang a drug, esp cannabis

  6. British slang a girl or woman considered sexually (esp in the phrase bit of stuff)

  7. do one's stuff informal to do what is expected of one

  8. that's the stuff that is what is needed

Origin of stuff

C14: from Old French estoffe, from estoffer to furnish, provide, of Germanic origin; related to Middle High German stopfen to cram full

usage For stuff

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

Derived forms of stuff

  • stuffer, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with stuff


In addition to the idioms beginning with stuff

  • stuff and nonsense
  • stuffed shirt
  • stuff it
  • stuff one's face
  • stuff the ballot box

also see:

  • get stuffed
  • hot number (stuff)
  • kid stuff
  • know one's stuff
  • strut one's stuff

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.