bindle stiff


Definition of bindle stiff

: hobo especially : one who carries his clothes or bedding in a bundle

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bindle stiff


bum, bummer, hobo, sundowner [Australian], swaggie [chiefly Australian], swagman [chiefly Australian], tramp, vagabond, vagrant

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

In the argot of tramps and hoboes, a roll of clothes and bedding was called a bindle, a word that probably originated as an alteration of the more familiar bundle. Stiff itself can mean "hobo" or "migrant worker," meanings it took on in the late 19th century. About the same time, any tramp or hobo who habitually carried such a pack was known as a bindle stiff. In Australia, a pack-carrying hobo might be called a swagman.

Examples of bindle stiff in a Sentence

upon graduation from college he wandered around the country as a bindle stiff, naively believing that he was at one with the downtrodden

First Known Use of bindle stiff

1897, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bindle stiff

Listen to Our Podcast about bindle stiff

Statistics for bindle stiff

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bindle stiff

The first known use of bindle stiff was in 1897

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on bindle stiff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bindle stiff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bindle stiff

Comments on bindle stiff

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


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!