Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈstəf\

Simple Definition of stuff

  • : materials, supplies, or equipment

  • : a group or pile of things that are not specifically described

  • —used to speak in a general way about something that is talked about, written about, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stuff

  1. 1 :  materials, supplies, or equipment used in various activities: asa obsolete :  military baggageb :  personal property

  2. 2 :  material to be manufactured, wrought, or used in construction <clear half-inch pine stuff — Emily Holt>

  3. 3 :  a finished textile suitable for clothing; especially :  wool or worsted material

  4. 4a :  literary or artistic productionb :  writing, discourse, talk, or ideas of little value :  trash

  5. 5a :  an unspecified material substance or aggregate of matter <volcanic rock is curious stuff>b :  something (as a drug or food) consumed or introduced into the body by humansc :  a matter to be considered <the truth was heady stuff> <long-term policy stuff>d :  a group or scattering of miscellaneous objects or articles <pick that stuff up off the floor>; also :  nonphysical unspecified material <conservation and…all kinds of good stuff — Eric Korn>

  6. 6a :  fundamental material :  substance <the stuff of greatness>b :  subject matter <a teacher who knows her stuff>

  7. 7 :  special knowledge or capability <showing their stuff>

  8. 8a :  spin imparted to a thrown or hit ball to make it curve or change courseb :  the movement of a baseball pitch out of its apparent line of flight :  the liveliness of a pitch <greatest pitcher of my time…had tremendous stuff — Ted Williams>

  9. 9 :  dunk shot



Examples of stuff in a sentence

  1. She got out the cooking stuff to bake some cookies.

  2. computers, word processors, and stuff like that

  3. I need a place to store my stuff.

  4. Pick that stuff up off the floor.

Origin and Etymology of stuff

Middle English, from Anglo-French estuffes goods, from estuffer to fill in (with rubble), furnish, equip, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German stopfōn to stop up, from Vulgar Latin *stuppare — more at stop

First Known Use: 14th century



transitive verb

Simple Definition of stuff

  • : to fill (something) so that there is no room for anything else

  • : to push (something) quickly and carelessly into a small space

  • : to put a seasoned mixture of food into (something that is being cooked)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stuff

  1. 1a :  to fill by packing things in :  cram <the boy stuffed his pockets with candy>b :  to fill to satiety :  surfeit <stuffed themselves with turkey>c :  to prepare (meat or vegetables) by filling or lining with a stuffingd :  to fill (as a cushion) with a soft materiale :  to fill out the skin of (an animal) for mounting

  2. 2a :  to fill by intellectual effort <stuffing their heads with facts>b :  to pack full of something immaterial <a book stuffed with information>

  3. 3 :  to fill or block up (as nasal passages)

  4. 4a :  to cause to enter or fill :  thrust <stuffed a lot of clothing into a laundry bag>b :  to put (as a ball or puck) into a goal forcefully from close range

  5. 5 —used in the imperative to express contempt <if they didn't like it, stuff 'em — Eric Clapton> ; often used in the phrases stuff it and get stuffed

  6. 6 :  to stop (a ballcarrier) abruptly in a football game <stuffed the runner just short of a first down>

Examples of stuff in a sentence

  1. The boy stuffed his pockets with candy.

  2. She stuffed the laundry bag full.

15th Century

First Known Use of stuff

15th century

STUFF Defined for Kids



noun \ˈstəf\

Definition of stuff for Students

  1. 1 :  materials, supplies, or equipment that people need or use <We helped move his stuff to the new apartment.>

  2. 2 :  writing, speech, sounds, actions, or ideas of little value <… some of the boys act so immature, making monkey sounds and stuff. — Paula Danziger, Amber Brown>

  3. 3 :  something mentioned or understood but not named <Wipe that stuff off your face.>

  4. 4 :  basic part of something :  substance <The floor is made of tough stuff.> <She shows the stuff of greatness.>




Definition of stuff for Students



  1. 1 :  to force into something :  thrust <She stuffed the clothes into a drawer.>

  2. 2 :  to fill by packing or crowding things in :  cram <I stuffed the suitcases.>

  3. 3 :  overeat, gorge

  4. 4 :  to fill with a stuffing <stuff a turkey>

  5. 5 :  to block up :  congest <His nose is stuffed.>

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb \ˈstəf\

Medical Definition of stuff

  1. :  to choke or block up (as nasal passages) <a stuffed up nose>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stuff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a very small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate accomodate acommadate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.