\ ˈstə-fē \
stuffier; stuffiest

Definition of stuffy 

2 : lacking in vitality or interest : stodgy, dull

3a : oppressive to the breathing : close a stuffy room

b : stuffed up a stuffy nose

4a : narrowly inflexible in standards of conduct : self-righteous

b : stiffly conventional : priggish stuffy formalities

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Other words from stuffy

stuffily \ˈstə-fə-lē \ adverb
stuffiness \ˈstə-fē-nəs \ noun

Examples of stuffy in a Sentence

It's very stuffy in here. She had a stuffy nose. I had a stuffy feeling in my head. the stuffiest members of that exclusive club
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Recent Examples on the Web

There was an extra seat for a neighbor who lived in a stuffy third-floor apartment. Jacques Kelly,, "Remembering Baltimore's magical glow from gaslights on a summer night," 14 July 2018 Midfielder Jesse Lingard broke into a dance that even made a typically stuffy English side break out into laughter. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The World Cup of Boring Celebrations," 13 July 2018 Californians aren’t exactly known for their stuffy workplace attire. Laura Newberry,, "Citing health study, Lancaster mayor wants to ban workplace necktie requirements for city employees," 12 July 2018 Bringing a stuffy nose home from vacation, chipping a fresh manicure, Seamless forgetting your extra ranch dressing, again — first world problems, man., "The Lip Balm Water Bottle We Never Knew We Needed," 29 June 2018 Kate and William’s wedding was solemn, stately, stuffy, full of dignitaries, politicians, and the sort of boring personages known here as the great and the good. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "‘Stand by Me’: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Married," 20 May 2018 Guides rotate, but Jessica was charming, approachable and knowledgeable without being stuffy. Anne Dunlap,, "What I did on my summer staycation," 25 June 2018 The former Modo Mio space has been thoroughly transformed into a room that exudes a modern, sophisticated vibe without being stuffy, as diners gather around its live-edge wood tables, kitchen counter, and cushy gray tweed banquettes. Craig Laban,, "At Cadence, bold new culinary talents cook with the seasons," 1 June 2018 The 1,670-acre property attracts a luxury crowd but manages not to feel stuffy. Laura Barcella, GQ, "Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast Is the Off-the-Beaten-Path Beach Destination of Your Dreams," 27 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stuffy.' 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 stuffy

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near stuffy

stuff oneself


stuff shot





Statistics for stuffy

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stuffy

The first known use of stuffy was in 1798

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More Definitions for stuffy



English Language Learners Definition of stuffy

: lacking fresh air

: filled with mucus because of illness

: very formal, serious, or old-fashioned


\ ˈstə-fē \
stuffier; stuffiest

Kids Definition of stuffy

1 : needing fresh air a stuffy room

2 : stuffed or blocked up a stuffy nose

3 : very formal and self-important He's a stuffy old teacher.


\ ˈstəf-ē \
stuffier; stuffiest

Medical Definition of stuffy 

: affected with congestion a stuffy nose

Other words from stuffy

stuffiness \ˈstəf-ē-nəs \ noun

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Comments on stuffy

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


the setting in which something occurs

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