\ ˈstəf \

Definition of stuff 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : materials, supplies, or equipment used in various activities: such as

a obsolete : military baggage

b : personal property

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

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

4a : literary or artistic production

b : writing, discourse, talk, or ideas of little value : trash

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 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

6a : fundamental material : substance the stuff of greatness

b : subject matter a teacher who knows her stuff

7 : special knowledge or capability showing their stuff

8a : 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 stuff —Ted Williams

9 : dunk shot


stuffed; stuffing; stuffs

Definition of stuff (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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 stuffing

d : to fill (something, such as a cushion) with a soft material

e : to fill out the skin of (an animal) for mounting

2a : 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)

4a : 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 'em —Eric 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from stuff


stuffless adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for stuff

Synonyms: Noun

capability, credentials, goods, qualification

Synonyms: Verb

brim, charge, cram, fill, heap, jam, jam-pack, load, pack

Antonyms: Verb

clear, empty, evacuate, vacate, void

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of stuff in a Sentence


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.


The boy stuffed his pockets with candy. She stuffed the laundry bag full.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Look man, Pat Riley is the godfather, all that stuff. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "This ESPN personality on Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside: 'He's not a winning player'," 5 July 2018 The game was purely for bragging rights and who snagged all the cool stuff afterwards like trophies and a banner because the two teams had snared the tournament’s two Coast Region Tournament berths on Saturday. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Mustang all-stars lose Section title to Huntsville," 1 July 2018 Soon enough, reports swirled of alarming hospitalizations reportedly linked to the products, especially among underage teens drinking dangerous amounts of the stuff. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Actually Happens When You Combine Alcohol and Caffeine?," 29 June 2018 Bringing really tasty gluten-free stuff to the community is a goal. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Creative cakes for kids turned into a small business for Wauwatosa woman," 13 July 2018 Lots of nervous energy here, and the referee wants to keep a lid on extra stuff right away. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 We're caught in this bad equilibrium where everybody has to write clickbait stuff. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Judd Legum Wants to Fix News With a Newsletter," 12 July 2018 Since flying back to Los Angeles from his beautiful vacation spots, James has tweeted about pizza, posted workout videos, and he was swarmed by paparazzi after having dinner with Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio — normal LA stuff. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "LeBron's agent Rich Paul shares what went into decision to sign with Lakers," 12 July 2018 People who got their hands dirty making stuff did not go to college. The Economist, "A welcome upgrade to apprenticeships," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With prices mostly in the two or three figures, her studded leather jackets and slinky slip dresses look not unlike what stuffs the racks at H&M and Forever 21. Sheila Marikar, New York Times, "How to Make an American Fashion Brand (No Sewing Required!)," 26 Aug. 2017 Instead, the avocado was simply halved, then stuffed with a corn salad consisting of corn, tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, and lime vinaigrette. Birmingham Magazine,, "Birmingham Restaurant Week Review: Lunch at Bottega Cafe," 15 Aug. 2017 Airport officials say the toilet had been stuffed with paper towels, and the airline affected, Southwest, offered replacement bags to some customers. miamiherald, "One overflowing toilet delayed thousands of people traveling to Florida," 9 Aug. 2017 Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and Smitten Ice Cream have teamed up to blow your mind this weekend, when the former’s signature croissant/muffin hybrids will be stuffed with Smitten flavors. Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine, "The 5 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Weekend," 28 July 2017 One major favorite was The Fifth Element, Luc Besson’s 1997 masterpiece, a sci-fi/action wonderment stuffed full of oddball style and weirdo Euro humor. Richard Lawson,, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Is an Endearing, Eye-Popping Mess," 18 July 2017 One major favorite was The Fifth Element, Luc Besson’s 1997 masterpiece, a sci-fi/action wonderment stuffed full of oddball style and weirdo Euro humor. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Is an Endearing, Eye-Popping Mess," 18 July 2017 THE factory of the future will be a building stuffed full of robots making robots. The Economist, "The Gemini makersMillions of things will soon have digital twins," 13 July 2017 Some products that could be coming soon to your favorite food retailer: Mini bagels shaped almost like tennis balls, cheesecake stuffed inside ice cream-style cones and a delicately flavored beverage derived from unroasted coffee beans. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Cricket Bars, Anyone? Quirky Foods Take Center Stage at Gourmet Trade Show," 26 June 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of stuff


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

History and Etymology for 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stuff

Statistics for stuff

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stuff

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stuff



English Language Learners Definition of stuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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.



English Language Learners Definition of stuff (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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)


\ ˈstəf \

Kids Definition of stuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

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


stuffed; stuffing

Kids Definition of stuff (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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

3 : overeat, gorge

4 : to fill with a stuffing stuff a turkey

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

\ ˈstəf \

Medical Definition of stuff 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on stuff

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


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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!