\ 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for stuffy


breathless, close, stifling, suffocating


airy, breezy, unstuffy

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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

Caring about craft does not necessarily mean writing in stuffy New Yorker voice (not that there’s anything wrong with that). David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 While Seattleites are hardly renowned for their fashion sense, for any seriously stylish person there’s one can’t-miss event this weekend, a hunt for to-die-for bargains in a setting a world away from any stuffy high-end boutique. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Fun, silly and fabulous at the Goodwill Glitter Sale," 10 Nov. 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Service is formal and knowledgeable without being stuffy. San Antonio Express-News, "7. Il Sogno Osteria," 8 Mar. 2018 Since no two are alike, a pair of them flanking a sofa will be polished, not stuffy. Happy Hour Serial party-throwers need look no further than their bar cart for a chic sofa sidekick. Joanna Linberg, Sunset, "10 Winning Side-Table Styling Ideas," 22 Jan. 2018 If schools only taught history through home decor instead of via stuffy white men and their politics, I just might have paid attention. Contributing Writer,, "400-year-old Delftware is the latest home decor trend," 9 Jan. 2018 The most common flu symptoms are fever (though not always), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, according to the CDC. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Flu Symptoms in Kids Come Suddenly, But You Can Act Fast If You Know What to Look For," 19 Oct. 2018 Symptoms include a cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, fatigue, body or muscle aches, and fever (although not everyone who has the flu gets a fever). Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "The 2019 Flu Season May Be as Deadly as 2018's — Here's How to Prepare Yourself," 3 Oct. 2018 Centerpieces of white orchids, hydrangeas and roses topped tables draped in taupe linen which were arranged beneath custom chandeliers that felt beachy, not stuffy. Carley K, Harper's BAZAAR, "Samantha & Jonathan Glass' Oceanfront Wedding in Playa Del Carmen," 23 Mar. 2017

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

12 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on stuffy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stuffy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stuffy

Spanish Central: Translation of stuffy

Nglish: Translation of stuffy for Spanish Speakers

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