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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.

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

Synonyms for stuffy

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

Examples from the Web for stuffy

Contemporary Examples of stuffy

Historical Examples of stuffy

  • What a joy it was to get away from stuffy courts of justice into the pure Warwickshire air.


    William J. Locke

  • She was back again in the stuffy hotel room, clutching the sheet about her.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The enclosure was very hot and stuffy; there was a smell of dust and straw.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • I don't like his books; I can't breathe in his stuffy drawing-rooms.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • The cabins were stuffy and the clamour of the donkey engine made him restless.

    The Island Mystery

    George A. Birmingham

British Dictionary definitions for stuffy


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