\ ˈstəf How to pronounce stuff (audio) \

Definition of stuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 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


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 contemptif 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

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Other Words from stuff


stuffless adjective

Synonyms for stuff

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Hiley wasn’t interested in the high-grade stuff back then. Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "The Tree That Could Help Stop the Pandemic," 21 Oct. 2020 Just watching a handful of episodes will probably keep you up at night wondering about all of the scary stuff out in the universe. Alex Darus, cleveland, "10 creepy shows to watch on Netflix this October that are based on true stories," 20 Oct. 2020 Similarly, Impossible's goal would be to design a milk alternative for people who prefer the real stuff to any of the currently available alternatives. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Impossible is working on a plant-based milk for people who hate plant-based milks," 20 Oct. 2020 And some of the stuff that has come out in the hack actually makes Joe Biden seem like what voters already believe, a decent guy. NBC News, "Meet the Press - October 18, 2020," 18 Oct. 2020 Then again, the stuff might be worth something to the right person. Motormouth Bob Weber, Star Tribune, "Motor Mouth: Old STP is good for collectors but not cars," 16 Oct. 2020 Obviously, sunscreen is vital, but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the stuff. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: The Complete Guide to Sunscreen," 15 Oct. 2020 Since January, that man, Joseph Allen, a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health, has been saying to anyone who will listen that air—the stuff that everybody breathes and nobody thinks about—has got to move. Veronique Greenwood, Wired, "Schools (and Children) Need a Fresh Air Fix," 14 Oct. 2020 No offence to the first three seasons of royal family drama, but season 4 is our introduction to the good stuff. Lindsay Denninger,, "What To Expect From The Crown’s Take On Diana & Charles’ Marriage," 13 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That said, Apple has managed to stuff every iPhone 12 feature into this phone. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, "Which iPhone 12 You Should Buy—and Where to Get It," 23 Oct. 2020 Alexander Radulov tried to stuff a rebound home with 3:30 left in the third period, but was denied by Vasilevskiy. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars lose overtime heartbreaker in Game 4, Lightning now lead series 3-1," 25 Sep. 2020 During World War I, children were paid a penny a pound for the milkweed silk, which was used to stuff life preservers. Jim Gilbert, Star Tribune, "Warty-looking milkweed pods produce a beautiful autumn scene," 18 Sep. 2020 The process to print, stuff the replacement ballots in envelopes and mail them was underway Friday, the Franklin County Elections Board announced. Arkansas Online, "Ohio county says nearly 50,000 voters received wrong ballots," 9 Oct. 2020 Initial legislation was a compromise despite some people trying to use the pandemic to stuff their agenda down Alaskans throats. Anchorage Daily News, "Candidate Q&A: Alaska House District 27 — Lance Pruitt," 3 Oct. 2020 At that point, the county would stuff the envelopes once the ballots were printed and handle the rest, Runbeck said. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "They're printing ballots: Arizona business kicks into high gear as election season begins," 28 Sep. 2020 And Fisher won’t be able to shorten the game and play keep-away if Alabama can stuff the run. Christopher Smith, al, "Stopping the run key to covering large spread vs. Texas A&M," 28 Sep. 2020 Buddy Ryan wouldn’t look as good without Eddie Goldman on the field this season to stuff the run. Brad Biggs,, "Chicago Bears Q&A: Why extend Tarik Cohen now? Will Darnell Mooney cut into Anthony Miller’s playing time? What’s the deal with the defense?," 23 Sep. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for stuff

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stuff

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stuff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for stuff


How to pronounce stuff (audio)

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
informal 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 How to pronounce stuff (audio) \

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.
4 : to fill with a stuffing stuff a turkey
5 : to block up : congest His nose is stuffed.
\ ˈstəf How to pronounce stuff (audio) \

Medical Definition of stuff

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

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