if·​fy | \ˈi-fē \

Definition of iffy 

1 : having many uncertain or unknown qualities or conditions an iffy proposition

2 : of inconsistent or unreliable quality

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Other Words from iffy

iffiness noun

Examples of iffy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the other options—including towing the Kuznetsov to a foreign shipyard with the capacity to dry-dock the 1,001-foot (305 meter) vessel—are equally iffy. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Russian officials: Nope, we can’t finish fixing the carrier Kuznetsov," 9 Nov. 2018 With rumbles at home and a reliance on foreign markets that remain iffy, this rally looks overcooked. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "McDonald’s Gets Its Special Sauce Abroad," 23 Oct. 2018 Tate's third foul on Thursday night was probably a little iffy. Bill Landis, cleveland.com, "Ohio State basketball: Jae'Sean Tate's balance between playing with emotion and staying on the floor," 16 Nov. 2017 Even by the often iffy standards of restrictor-plate racing, this one was a titanic mess. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Erik Jones outlasts chaos at Daytona and scores win for NASCAR's young guns," 8 July 2018 Some changes seemed a little iffy: Putting Big Boy on a diet to lose some of his chubby kid fat, new graphics and signage in stores. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Polly Campbell: Coke back at Frisch's. Here's what it means," 18 June 2018 Senate Democrats are also iffy about Republicans' ability to negotiate as a united front. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "The missing ingredient in this shutdown that finally ended it: Trust," 22 Jan. 2018 For the price, there are worse pitchers, even if his 5.34 ERA is kind of iffy. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Is Lorenzo Cain the best off-season signing in Major League Baseball so far?," 14 June 2018 After getting hit with a pair of iffy-at-best penalty calls in the first period that the Tampa Bay Lightning turned into a 2-1 lead, the Caps fired back, reeling off five straight goals en route to a 6-2 win that gave them a 2-0 series lead. Michael Blinn, SI.com, "Washington Fires Back to Take Game 2 Against Tampa Bay," 13 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iffy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of iffy

1937, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for iffy

if entry 1

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Statistics for iffy

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for iffy

The first known use of iffy was in 1937

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More Definitions for iffy



English Language Learners Definition of iffy

: having many uncertain or unknown qualities or conditions : not certain

: not certain to be good

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More from Merriam-Webster on iffy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with iffy

Nglish: Translation of iffy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of iffy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on iffy

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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