stuff

1 of 2

noun

1
: materials, supplies, or equipment used in various activities: such as
a
obsolete : military baggage
2
: material to be manufactured, wrought, or used in construction
clear half-inch pine stuffEmily Holt
3
: a finished textile suitable for clothing
especially : wool or worsted material
4
a
: literary or artistic production
b
: writing, discourse, talk, or ideas of little value : trash
5
a
: 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 humans
c
: 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
a
: fundamental material : substance
the stuff of greatness
b
: subject matter
a teacher who knows her stuff
7
: special knowledge or capability
showing their stuff
8
a
: spin imparted to a thrown or hit ball to make it curve or change course
b
: 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 stuffTed Williams
9
stuffless adjective

stuff

2 of 2

verb

stuffed; stuffing; stuffs

transitive verb

1
a
: 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 stuffing
d
: to fill (something, such as a cushion) with a soft material
e
: to fill out the skin of (an animal) for mounting
2
a
: to fill by intellectual effort
stuffing their heads with facts
b
: to pack full of something immaterial
a book stuffed with information
3
: to fill or block up (something, such as nasal passages)
4
a
: to cause to enter or fill : thrust
stuffed a lot of clothing into a laundry bag
b
: to put (a ball, a puck, etc.) into a goal forcefully from close range
5
used in the imperative to express contempt
if they didn't like it, stuff 'emEric Clapton
often used in the phrases stuff it and get stuffed
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

Noun She got out the cooking stuff to bake some cookies. computers, word processors, and stuff like that I need a place to store my stuff. Pick that stuff up off the floor. Verb The boy stuffed his pockets with candy. She stuffed the laundry bag full. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This is the stuff of the real world and getting generative AI to parse this style of content is essential. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 A lot of my stuff in the past has been very piano-based. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, 14 Feb. 2024 Speaking of which, this stuff stays in your hair really well. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 14 Feb. 2024 The app’s concept is really clever, actually: a strict to-do list app often doesn’t feel like the right way to manage projects and all the stuff involved with them, but tools like Notion can be too full of features and ideas. David Pierce, The Verge, 13 Feb. 2024 That kind of promise is the stuff of cosmic lyricism, and last year, U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón penned some verse in honor of both the moon and the mission, writing in part: [E]ach rivulet, each pulse, each vein. TIME, 12 Feb. 2024 Despite the clichés and expectations — and the declarations by some that chocolate desserts are often less imaginative than fruit desserts — most of us can’t get enough of the stuff. Laurie Ochoa, Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2024 Frankly, my kids like that stuff better than other food, anyway. Beth Ann Mayer, Parents, 1 Feb. 2024 In the end all the other stuff is just 'noise,' what matters is the kids. Jamie Ballard, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2024
Verb
Why Are These Called Resurrection Rolls? Before going into the oven, each crescent roll is stuffed with a large marshmallow. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 13 Feb. 2024 Eat out on the deck under the stars, and select from a menu that includes Mediterranean favourites, such as Creamy Polenta with mushrooms and truffle oil; Squash Blossoms stuffed with lemon ricotta; Oxtail Tortellini or Local Reef Fish served with a couscous salad and mussel sauce. Angelina Villa-Clarke, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Imagine almost the entire population stuffed in the smallest city, without any kind of preparedness, with families who have been forced to flee without anything. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 9 Feb. 2024 But Stewart has a very important question for producers after stuffing his mouth with the salty snack. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 9 Feb. 2024 Here, chef de cuisine Rachel Saxton and executive pastry chef Sara Figueiredo take Colorado ingredients through an international tour of flavors: wagyu tartare spiked with Gochujang, bison burger patties stuffed into hearty pretzel rolls, and fresh pasta made by hand daily. Chadner Navarro, Travel + Leisure, 3 Feb. 2024 Household savings are not like a shoebox stuffed with cash that is being spent down. Mike Sommers, Fortune Europe, 1 Feb. 2024 The pillows, which come in four sizes, are stuffed with fluffy fiber filling to support back, side, and stomach sleepers. Isabel Garcia, Peoplemag, 1 Feb. 2024 The sample menu includes oysters on the half shell with chimichurri sauce, spicy salad rolls stuffed with spicy tuna and shaved raw beef marinated in lime and herbs. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 28 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stuff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English stuff, stuffe "military supplies, provisions, household goods, building material, fabric, filling of a pastry," borrowed from Anglo-French estuffe "provision, stock," noun derivative of estuffer, estoffer "to furnish (with supplies, arms), fill" — more at stuff entry 2

Verb

Middle English stuffen, stoffen "to furnish, equip (with arms, provisions), fill, cram full," borrowed from Anglo-French estuffer, estoffer (also continental Old French), probably borrowed from Old High German stophōn "put (something into something), cram full," going back to West Germanic *stoppōjan-, whence also Old English -stoppian, in forstoppian "to stop up, close completely" — more at stop entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of stuff was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near stuff

Cite this Entry

“Stuff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stuff. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

stuff

1 of 2 noun
1
: supplies or equipment that people need or use
2
: writing, conversation, or ideas often of little or temporary worth
3
: something mentioned or understood but not named
sold tons of the stuff
4
a
: basic part of something : substance
the stuff of greatness
b
: body of knowledge
teachers who know their stuff
5
a
: actions or talk of a particular kind
how do they get away with such stuff
b
: special knowledge or ability
a person who has the right stuff will do well here

stuff

2 of 2 verb
1
a
: to fill by or as if by packing things in
was stuffing her pockets with candy
b
: to eat too much
don't stuff yourself with pizza
c
: to fill with a stuffing
stuffed the pillow
2
: to fill with ideas or information
stuffed their heads with facts
3
: to fill or block up
a sore throat and stuffed nose
4
: to put or push into something especially carelessly or with little concern
stuffed the clothes into the drawer
stuffer noun

Medical Definition

stuff

transitive verb
: to choke or block up (as nasal passages)
a stuffed up nose

More from Merriam-Webster on stuff

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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