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adjective, stuff·i·er, stuff·i·est.
  1. close; poorly ventilated: a stuffy room.
  2. oppressive from lack of freshness: stuffy air; a stuffy odor.
  3. lacking in interest, as writing or discourse.
  4. affected with a sensation of obstruction in the respiratory passages: a stuffy nose.
  5. dull or tedious; boring.
  6. self-important; pompous.
  7. rigid or strait-laced in attitudes, especially in matters of personal behavior.
  8. old-fashioned; conservative.
  9. ill-tempered; sulky.
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Origin of stuffy

First recorded in 1545–55; stuff + -y1
Related formsstuff·i·ly, adverbstuff·i·ness, nounun·stuff·i·ly, adverbun·stuff·i·ness, nounun·stuff·y, adjective


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3, 5, 8. stodgy. 6. smug. 7. priggish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for stuffiness


adjective stuffier or stuffiest
  1. lacking fresh air
  2. excessively dull, staid, or conventional
  3. (of the nasal passages) blocked with mucus
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Derived Formsstuffily, adverbstuffiness, 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

Word Origin and History for stuffiness



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper