Etymology: 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
Date: 14th century
1. materials, supplies, or equipment used in various activities: as
a. obsolete military baggage
b. personal property
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 4. a. literary or artistic production b. writing, discourse, talk, or ideas of little value ; trash 5. a. 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> 6. a. fundamental material ; substance <the stuff of greatness> b. subject matter <a teacher who knows her stuff> 7. special knowledge or capability <showing their stuff> 8. a. 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> 9. dunk shot • stuffless adjective II. transitive verb Date: 15th century 1. a. 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 (as a cushion) with a soft material e. to fill out the skin of (an animal) for mounting 2. a. 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 (as nasal passages) 4. a. to cause to enter or fill ; thrust <stuffed a lot of clothing into a laundry bag> b. to put (as a ball or puck) into a goal forcefully from close range 5. — used in the imperative to express contempt <if 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>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.