See also: Stuff

English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English stuffen (to equip, furnish), borrowed from Old French estoffer, estofer (to provide what is necessary, equip, stuff), borrowed from Old High German stoffōn, from Proto-West Germanic *stoppōn (to clog up, block, fill). More at stop.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /stʌf/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌf

Noun edit

stuff (usually uncountable, plural stuffs)

  1. (informal) Miscellaneous items or objects; (with possessive) personal effects.
    What is all that stuff on your bedroom floor?  He didn't want his pockets to bulge so he was walking around with all his stuff in his hands.
    1. (obsolete, uncountable) Furniture; goods; domestic vessels or utensils.
      • 1611, Bible, 1 Samuel 25:13, KJV:
        and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
      • 1630, John Hayward, The Life and Raigne of King Edward VI:
        He took away locks, and gave away the king's stuff.
  2. (informal) Unspecified things or matters.
    I had to do some stuff.
  3. The tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object.
    Synonyms: matter, ingredients, constituents; see also Thesaurus:substance
    • 1697, John Davies, A Poem on the Immortality of the Soul:
      The workman on his stuff his skill doth show, / And yet the stuff gives not the man his skill.
    • 1887, Indian Cookery "Local" for Young Housekeepers: Second Edition, page 67:
      Pound an onion, warm a spoonful of ghee and throw in the onion, brown it slightly, add your curry stuff, brown this till it smells pleasantly, []
    1. (archaic) A material for making clothing; any woven textile, but especially a woollen fabric.
      • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter VII, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 51:
        Without waiting for a reply, she unbound the veil from her head, and took off the loose black novice's robe, which she had put over a gray stuff dress similar to that worn by Lucy.
      • 1857, The National Magazine, volumes 10-11, page 350:
        "And you can buy a dress for your wife off this piece of stuff," said Lisetta, who had always an eye to business.
      • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, page 147:
        She was going out to buy some lengths of good woollen stuff for Louise's winter dresses.
    2. (archaic) Boards used for building.
    3. Abstract/figurative substance or character.
    4. Paper stock ground ready for use. When partly ground, it is called half stuff.[1]
  4. (informal) Used as placeholder, usually for material of unknown type or name.
    Synonyms: doodad, thingamabob; see also Thesaurus:thingy
    Can I have some of that stuff on my ice-cream sundae?
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 3, in Death on the Centre Court:
      It had been his intention to go to Wimbledon, but as he himself said: “Why be blooming well frizzled when you can hear all the results over the wireless. [] You stand by, Janet, and wake me up if they do any of that running commentary stuff.”
    • 2013 August 3, “Yesterday’s fuel”, in The Economist[1], volume 408, number 8847:
      The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania. The first barrels of crude fetched $18 (around $450 at today’s prices).
  5. (slang) Narcotic drugs, especially heroin.
    Synonyms: dope, gear; see also Thesaurus:recreational drug
    • 1947, William Burroughs, letter, 11 March:
      For some idiotic reason the bureaucrats are more opposed to tea than to stuff.
    • 1975, Mary Sanches, Ben G. Blount, Sociocultural Dimensions of Language Use, page 47:
      For example, one addict would crack shorts (break and enter cars) and usually obtain just enough stolen goods to buy stuff and get off just before getting sick.
  6. (obsolete) A medicine or mixture; a potion.
  7. (sometimes euphemistic) Refuse or worthless matter; hence, also, foolish or irrational language.
    Synonyms: garbage, rubbish, nonsense, stuff and nonsense; see also Thesaurus:trash, Thesaurus:nonsense
    Don't give me any of that 'what-about' stuff!
  8. (nautical) A melted mass of turpentine, tallow, etc., with which the masts, sides, and bottom of a ship are smeared for lubrication.
    • 1785, Pamphlets on British Shipping. 1785-1861, page 36:
      The master, at my earnest solicitation, examined his vessel, and though he prefers the coal tar, yet he told me, there were shells sticking on, and that a very thin coat of stuff, if any, remained.
    • 1822, William Annesley, A New System of Naval Architecture, page 31:
      On the last transverse planking, after: caulking and paying, he has laid on a coat of stuff, so hard when cold aš to resist a firm touch, and applied plain paper, then took heated band irons (such as women use) , and passed the iron from the centre of the sheet to the extremities, thus heating the stuff to make it adhere, pressing out the air, and laying it all flat and united with the course.
    • 2012, Thomas Williams, American Honor: The Story of Admiral Charles Stewart, page 561:
      While the ships were placed in ordinary “a thick coat of stuff” was applied to the hulls, and their awnings might be spread or sheds erected to provide some protection from sun and weather.
  9. (slang, criminal argot, dated) Money.

Usage notes edit

  • The textile sense is increasingly specialized and sounds dated in everyday contexts. In the UK and Commonwealth it designates the cloth from which legal and academic gowns are made, except for the gowns of Queen's/King's/State Counsel, which are (often in contradistinction) made of silk.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Irish: stuif

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

stuff (third-person singular simple present stuffs, present participle stuffing, simple past and past participle stuffed)

  1. (transitive) To fill by packing or crowding something into; to cram with something; to load to excess.
    I'm going to stuff this pillow with feathers.
  2. (transitive) To fill a space with (something) in a compressed manner.
    He stuffed his clothes into the closet and shut the door.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      Put them [roses] into a [] glass, with narrow mouths, stuffing them close together [] and [they] retain [] smell [] [and] colour.
    • 1921 June, Margery Williams, “The Velveteen Rabbit: Or How Toys Become Real”, in Harper’s Bazar, volume LVI, number 6 (2504 overall), New York, N.Y.: International Magazine Company, →ISSN, →OCLC:
      The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles.
    • 2004, Orson Scott Card, The Crystal City: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Book Six, Tom Doherty Associates, →ISBN, page 241:
      It's our life you're taking, you're making us poor, you have no right, these slaves are ours, until Marie wanted to fill their mouths with cotton, all the cotton that had ever been picked by their slaves, just stuff it down their mouths until they were as fat and soft as the huge pillows they slept on while their slaves slept on hard boards and straw in filthy rat-infested cabins.
    • 2007, Iceland Review, H.J. Hamar, page 227:
      You can't just stuff it in a vault somewhere and cross your fingers.
    • 2011, Shirley G. East, The Dream Hunters Epoch: The Paleo Indians Series, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 528:
      “I will sort this stuff out and repack it.” “No time! Just stuff it inside baskets and shove them to the back. We can sort through it all later.”
  3. (transitive, cooking) To fill with seasoning.
    She stuffed the turkey for Thanksgiving using her secret recipe.
  4. (transitive) To load goods into (a container) for transport.
  5. (transitive, used in the passive) To sate.
    I’m stuffed after having eaten all that turkey, mashed potatoes and delicious stuffing.
  6. (takes a reflexive pronoun) To eat, especially in a hearty or greedy manner.
    Synonyms: fill one's face, feed one's face, stuff one's face
    She sits on the sofa all day, watching TV and stuffing herself with cream buns.
  7. (transitive, British, Australia, New Zealand) To break; to destroy.
    He skidded off the road and totally stuffed his brand new car.
  8. (transitive, vulgar, British, Australia, New Zealand) To sexually penetrate.
    Synonyms: fuck, root, screw
    His wife came home early and found him on the couch stuffing the maid.
  9. (transitive, mildly vulgar, often imperative) Used to contemptuously dismiss or reject something. See also stuff it.
    Stuff your stupid rules, I'll do what I like.
    • 2009, Matthew Hall, The Coroner, Pan Macmillan, →ISBN, page 218:
      Jenny nodded in sympathy, spotting Ali's new iPod speakers sitting on top of the TV. Simone smiled and coughed. 'He forgot to take them with him. He can stuff it, it was my money.'
    • 2009, Tom Holt, Here Comes The Sun, Hachette UK, →ISBN, page 80:
      'Well,' she said, 'you can take your job and you can stuff it, because...' She stopped dead. 'My God,' she whispered, 'I've been wanting to say that to somebody all my life, and now I actually have. Whee!' She pulled herself together, straightened her back and picked up her handbag. 'Sorry,' she said, 'but I'm through.'
    • 2015, Chris Dunning, About a Village Boy: A memoir, Troubador Publishing, →ISBN, page 91:
      And it rained everyday[sic] and the seas were rough everyday and I felt ill everyday and I thought, if this is sailing you can stuff it!
  10. (informal) To heavily defeat or get the better of.
    Mudchester Rovers were stuffed 7-0 in the semi-final.
    They totally stuffed us in that business deal.
  11. (transitive) To cut off another competitor in a race by disturbing his projected and committed racing line (trajectory) by an abrupt manoeuvre.
    I got stuffed by that guy on the supermoto going into that turn, almost causing us to crash.
  12. To preserve a dead bird or other animal by filling its skin.
  13. (transitive) To obstruct, as any of the organs; to affect with some obstruction in the organs of sense or respiration.
  14. (transitive) To form or fashion by packing with the necessary material.
    • 1724, Jonathan Swift, “Drapier's Letters”, in 5:
      An Eastern king put a judge to death for an iniquitous sentence, and ordered his hide to be stuffed into a cushion, and placed upon the tribunal.
  15. (transitive, dated) To crowd with facts; to cram the mind of; sometimes, to crowd or fill with false or idle tales or fancies.
  16. (transitive, computing) To compress (a file or files) in the StuffIt format, to be unstuffed later.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References edit

  1. ^ Edward H[enry] Knight (1877), “Stuff”, in Knight’s American Mechanical Dictionary. [], volume III (REA–ZYM), New York, N.Y.: Hurd and Houghton [], →OCLC.

Anagrams edit