Share this entry

stuff Line breaks: stuff

Definition of stuff in English:


[mass noun]
1Matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied: I prefer to buy stuff in sales we all offer to do stuff for each other green stuff in stagnant water the mud was horrible stuff a girl who’s good at the technical stuff all that running and swimming and stuff
More example sentences
  • The fact that the New Statesman can't find anything more grown-up to publish than this sort of stuff is indicative of its sad decline.
  • There was apparently a really big rain in his town and all sorts of horrible stuff ended up in the pipeline.
  • A load of kids are reading stuff and hearing stuff which refers back to Vietnam, and there is a resurgence in interest in the works of Chomsky.
1.1A person’s belongings, equipment, or baggage: he took his stuff and went
More example sentences
  • Your stuff has proven it works with my equipment so I am going to need lots of it within the next six months.
  • But this stuff is being purveyed by the Religious Affairs Department of the Saudi Armed Forces.
  • And so, all Graham's stuff for the trip packed neatly into two soft cases, to bed.
informal gear, things, tackle, kit
British informal clobber, gubbins
1.2British informal , dated Worthless or foolish ideas, speech, or writing; rubbish: [as exclamation]: stuff and nonsense!
More example sentences
  • At first sight such an idea seems outrageous stuff and nonsense.
  • The problem is, however, that to get to the point where we can afford all this stuff and nonsense, we have to work ridiculously long hours.
  • The lectures were the usual old stuff and nonsense, but it's so easy to make new friends when you just bitch.
informal poppycock, tripe, bunk, piffle, bosh, bilge, hot air, hogwash, hooey, baloney, mumbo jumbo
British informal cobblers, codswallop, tosh
Scottish & Northern English informal havers
Irish informal codology
North American informal garbage, flapdoodle, blathers, wack, bushwa, applesauce
informal , dated tommyrot, rot, bunkum
vulgar slang bullshit, crap, bollocks, balls
Australian/New Zealand vulgar slang bulldust
1.3 informal Drink or drugs: the islanders get fighting mad on the stuff ‘Are you doing stuff, Kevin?’ he asked
More example sentences
  • I slowly went downhill and back on to the heavy stuff like heroin.
  • If they allowed dope to be used, I could grow her stuff, she could smoke it, and her life would be improved.
  • At first money wasn't a problem I had a good job, good house, I sold my house to the drug dealers so they could sell their stuff.
1.4 (one's stuff) Things in which one is knowledgeable and experienced; one’s area of expertise: he knows his stuff and can really write
facts, information, data, subject, discipline
informal onions
2The basic constituents or characteristics of something or someone: Healey was made of sterner stuff such a trip was the stuff of his dreams
More example sentences
  • We drive, chatting every once in awhile, listening to the radio, pretty basic road trip stuff.
  • It's also possible that I could program some of the more basic stuff - no, that won't happen.
  • It's very, very easy for me to eat when I'm at home because I like very, very basic stuff.
3British dated Woollen fabric, especially as distinct from silk, cotton, and linen: [as modifier]: her dark stuff gown
More example sentences
  • Of course people have noticed before that Matisse posed his models in flimsy, filmy harem pants on divans and cushions covered with flowered or striped stuffs against fabric screens and curtains.
  • His library was dukedom large enough, and here on the island he has, besides rich garments, linen stuffs and necessaries, volumes that he prizes above his dukedom.
  • The earliest woven stuffs were made for use or ornament, before refinements in spinning and weaving permitted textiles malleable enough to clothe the body.
4North American (In sport) spin given to a ball to make it vary its course.
Example sentences
  • I think Greinke's stuff will get better, it got better as last year went along.
  • His stuff was impressive in his short stint in Detroit, as well as his 26 innings in Arizona.
  • He rarely hits the upper 80s on his fastball, so he relies on his off-speed stuff to get outs.
4.1 Baseball A pitcher’s ability to produce spin on a ball or control the speed of delivery of a ball.
Example sentences
  • He says he hasn't changed anything in his delivery - he just isn't trusting his stuff.
  • Bernero has savvy and changes speeds, but hitters sometimes sit on his off-speed stuff.
  • Ramirez struggles with his control at times but has much better stuff and is more durable than Reynolds.


[with object] Back to top  
1Fill (a receptacle or space) tightly with something: an old teapot stuffed full of cash figurative his head has been stuffed with myths and taboos
More example sentences
  • But then these rooms are stuffed with things of beauty, as the deputy curator of the collection, Martin Clayton, enthusiastically points out.
  • The two tea rooms were stuffed with damp holiday makers, all tucking into cake and cream and scones and cream and strawberry jam and cream.
  • Samantha, 25, said: " The wallet was stuffed full of pictures, letters, keepsakes and prayer cards.
1.1Force or cram (something) tightly into a receptacle or space: he stuffed a thick wad of notes into his jacket pocket
More example sentences
  • As she rolled her clothes up tightly and stuffed them in securely, she tried to recall what it was that she missed the most.
  • My hand was unexpectedly clutching the stone tightly as I stuffed the paper back in the bottle.
  • Once inside the man quickly tied her wrists together behind her back and stuffed a thick cloth into her mouth and tied it tightly behind her head, gagging her.
1.2 informal Hastily force (something) into a space: Sadie took the coin and stuffed it in her coat pocket
More example sentences
  • He read it hastily before stuffing it in his pocket.
  • Young and the others hastily stuffed a purifier into each nostril and inhaled some much needed fresh air.
  • Hastily, she stuffed her feet into a pair of sneakers and ran downstairs to where her grandfather was waiting for her.
1.3Fill out the skin of (a dead animal) with material to restore the original shape and appearance: he took the bird to a taxidermist to be stuffed (as adjective stuffed) a stuffed parrot
More example sentences
  • Several Irish talk show hosts have been filling the air waves with information about stuffing your dead pets.
  • The dead elephant was stuffed and exhibited, and it stood in Vienna until Maximilian sent it to Munich.
  • One thing unites the animals: they are all dead but stuffed by taxidermists at Edinburgh's Royal Museum on Chambers Street.
1.4Fill (the cavity of an item of food) with a savoury or sweet mixture, especially before cooking: chicken stuffed with mushrooms and breadcrumbs
More example sentences
  • It may be eaten in the form of tamales, the dough stuffed with savoury or sweet mixtures and steamed in maize or banana leaves.
  • But I fancied the savoury pancakes stuffed with mushrooms, tomatoes and onions, and covered in a creamy cheese sauce.
  • The chicken breasts can be stuffed in advance and popped in the steamer when you get in from work.
1.5 informal Fill (oneself) with large amounts of food: he stuffed himself with Parisian chocolates
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, while Holly stuffed herself with food and downed the coffee, someone put their hands over her eyes.
  • Imitating their elders on such occasions, they stuffed themselves with a lot of food and drink, and roared with merriment to the bemusement of all the diners around.
  • For that few minutes, we were all silent, as we stuffed ourselves with the delicious food.
fill, cram, gorge, overindulge, satiate;
gobble, devour, wolf, guzzle
informal pig, pig out, make a pig of oneself, stuff oneself to the gills
1.6 (be stuffed up) informal Have one’s nose blocked up with catarrh as a result of a cold: when I woke up that morning I was totally stuffed up and my throat was sore
1.7 informal Fill (envelopes) with identical copies of printed matter: they spent the whole time in a back room stuffing envelopes
More example sentences
  • Other employees stuffed 1,700 envelopes for the event on state time, the affidavit said.
  • Zines needed to be physically copied, taken down to the local alternative music shop, or stuffed in envelopes and mailed.
  • For now, all of his value can be typed onto an application and stuffed in a Manila envelope to be scanned in fifteen minutes by a member of the admissions department.
1.8North American Place bogus votes in (a ballot box).
Example sentences
  • Although Democrats easily won the election by stuffing ballot boxes, they wanted revenge.
  • EU observers say they also saw incidents of Kagame's supporters tampering with voter lists and stuffing ballot boxes.
  • As you can see, TSN's team came in fourth even without stuffing the ballot box and telling relatives to vote for our team.
2 [usually in imperative] British informal Used to express indifference towards or rejection of (something): stuff the diet!
3British informal Defeat heavily in sport: Town got stuffed every week
4British vulgar slang (Of a man) have sexual intercourse with (a woman).


Middle English (denoting material for making clothes): shortening of Old French estoffe 'material, furniture', estoffer 'equip, furnish', from Greek stuphein 'draw together'.

  • Stuff originally meant the material for making clothes. It is a shortening of Old French estoffe ‘material or furniture’, which is related to estoffer ‘to equip, furnish’, the source of the verb stuff. Do your stuff is first recorded in 1663 in the journal of George Fox, founder of the Quakers: ‘A while after, when the priest had done his stuff, they came to the friends again.’ Stuff and nonsense, first found in Tom Jones ( 1749) by Henry Fielding, is really ‘nonsense and nonsense’—stuff is used in the 16th-century sense ‘nonsense, rubbish’.


get stuffed

[usually in imperative] British informal Said in anger to tell someone to go away or as an expression of contempt: she wanted to join his mob but he told her to get stuffed
More example sentences
  • The message from the major rugby nations to Japan, and to all the other aspirants, is clear: get stuffed.
  • There are more rural ones than urban ones so we get stuffed.
  • ‘I'm going to spend my money on whatever I want and everyone who called me ‘Tin Head’ can go get stuffed.’

not give a stuff

British informal Not care at all: I couldn’t give a stuff what they think
More example sentences
  • Not everybody sees it that way, she said, nodding in the direction of Upstairs, but she doesn't give a stuff.
  • MPs don't know the facts and 90 per cent of British people don't give a stuff whether hunting is banned or not because it doesn't affect them.
  • The blame lies with parents who don't give a stuff.

stuff it

informal Said to express indifference, resignation, or rejection: Stuff it, I’m 61, what do I care?
More example sentences
  • ‘If I had been asked to resign, I would have told the BBC to stuff it,’ he added.
  • A few limits on it, of course - the whole thing about not being related leaps to mind, and minimum ages are generally a good idea - but stuff it, let's just go for it.
  • I hope that they tell the religionists to stuff it.

that's the stuff

British informal Said in approval of what has just been done or said.
Example sentences
  • Vice magazine, though, that's the stuff right there.



[in combination]: a sausage-stuffer
More example sentences
  • Instead of anything this interesting, we just get the same old boring, contrived, generic mailbox stuffers with the candidate's mugshot, political party, electorate name and supposed attributes hastily slapped together.
  • Today, his company, the Wings of Autumn, has a reputation of being the finest animal stuffers in town.
  • But most mornings were spent taking boxes of envelopes to and from the stuffers (as I affectionately referred to them) and making various deliveries to small businesses on the new industrial estates.

Phrasal verbs

stuff up (or stuff something up)

informal , chiefly Australian & NZ Handle a situation badly: stupid people always blame others for their mistakes, rather than admitting they stuffed up she stuffed up just about everything she got involved in
More example sentences
  • Bottom line, the little guys always pay regardless of who stuffed it up.
  • He should have started a new thread, but he's not the sharpest Redditor in the drawer, so he's stuffed it up.
  • How could he have stuffed it up so badly?

Words that rhyme with stuff

bluff, buff, chough, chuff, cuff, duff, enough, fluff, gruff, guff, huff, luff, puff, rough, ruff, scruff, scuff, slough, snuff, Tough, tuff

Definition of stuff in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...