stuff (n.)

early 14c., "quilted material worn under chain mail," from Old French estoffe "quilted material, furniture, provisions" (Modern French étoffe), from estoffer "to equip or stock," which according to French sources is from Old High German stopfon "to plug, stuff," or from a related Frankish word (see stop (v.)), but OED has "strong objections" to this.

Sense extended to material for working with in various trades (c. 1400), then "matter of an unspecified kind" (1570s). Meaning "narcotic, dope, drug" is attested from 1929. To know (one's) stuff "have a grasp on a subject" is recorded from 1927.

stuff (v.)

mid-14c., "furnish with" (goods, provisions, etc.), also "reinforce" (troops), from Old French estofer "pad, upholster, fit out" (Modern French étoffer), from estoffe, and probably also in part from stuff (n.).

From c. 1400 as "fill, cram full; fill (the belly) with food or drink, gorge;" from early 15c. as "to clog" (the sinuses, etc.); from late 14c. as "fill (a mattress, etc.) with padding, line with padding;" also in the cookery sense, in reference to filing the interior of a pastry or the cavity of a fowl or beast. The ballot-box sense is attested from 1854, American English; in expressions of contempt and suggestive of bodily orifices, it dates from 1952.

updated on December 12, 2013

Definitions of stuff from WordNet
stuff (v.)
cram into a cavity;
The child stuffed candy into his pockets
stuff (v.)
press or force;
Synonyms: thrust / shove / squeeze
stuff (v.)
My nose is all stuffed
Synonyms: lug / choke up / block
stuff (v.)
overeat or eat immodestly; make a pig of oneself;
She stuffed herself at the dinner
Synonyms: gorge / ingurgitate / overindulge / glut / englut / engorge / overgorge / overeat / gormandize / gormandise / gourmandize / binge / pig out / satiate / scarf out
stuff (v.)
treat with grease, fill, and prepare for mounting;
stuff a bearskin
stuff (v.)
fill tightly with a material;
stuff a pillow with feathers
stuff (v.)
fill with a stuffing while cooking;
Have you stuffed the turkey yet?
Synonyms: farce
stuff (n.)
the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object;
wheat is the stuff they use to make bread
Synonyms: material
stuff (n.)
miscellaneous unspecified objects;
the trunk was full of stuff
stuff (n.)
informal terms for personal possessions;
Synonyms: clobber
stuff (n.)
senseless talk;
don't give me that stuff
Synonyms: stuff and nonsense / hooey / poppycock
stuff (n.)
unspecified qualities required to do or be something;
you don't have the stuff to be a United States Marine
the stuff of heros
stuff (n.)
information in some unspecified form;
it was stuff I had heard before
there's good stuff in that book
stuff (n.)
a critically important or characteristic component;
suspense is the very stuff of narrative
From, not affiliated with etymonline.