Definition of iffy in English:


adjectiveiffier, iffiest

  • 1informal Full of uncertainty; doubtful.

    ‘the prospect for classes resuming next Wednesday seems iffy’
    • ‘The full game was looking a bit iffy for a while there, but after playing the demo I'm sold.’
    • ‘The young pair is remarkably candid in the book about their iffy journalistic methods and practices circa 1972, part of Broder's golden age.’
    • ‘He said: ‘It has been a bit of an iffy start but we are turning things around now.’’
    • ‘At 100 miles an hour the combination of iffy aerodynamics and drivetrain shake caused those stubby little windshield wipers to chatter on the glass like drumsticks.’
    • ‘And personally, I think the theory he seems to prefer now is a little… well, iffy.’
    • ‘But that theory's iffy, too: Loons spend their winters in salt water, hunting different-colored fish.’
    • ‘It conjured up all sorts of iffy research - dutifully reported in the same newspapers that took tobacco ads - to ‘prove’ its case.’
    • ‘It used to be that our relationship was iffy at best.’
    • ‘Next week is iffy but I will write - in fact I'm looking forward to it - and post a monster entry first chance I get.’
    • ‘As we look at live pictures now from the Kennedy Space Center, it's not the faulty fuel sensor inspiring those iffy conditions.’
    • ‘If you drive through these landscapes, getting radio reception can sometimes be iffy at best, especially in the rural West.’
    • ‘Both are fixable and 2 good friends are better than four iffy friends.’
    • ‘Well, if the weather is still iffy on the east coast of Florida, Discovery has two other landing sites ready and waiting.’
    • ‘The steering winds right now are very, very light, and so it's still a little bit iffy exactly where this should be headed.’
    • ‘The math behind computing valedictorian status has always been iffy with people arguing over honors points.’
    • ‘Transportation seems to be an iffy business; railroads as an industry never made a dime for their owners.’
    • ‘And getting reimbursement from our homeowners insurance company looks iffy at best.’
    • ‘But although he might be a natural fit here, his legal status is iffy.’
    • ‘There's just so many people there that to expect to stay and grow, it's kind of, you know, iffy.’
    • ‘During the summer months, if the weather forecast is a bit iffy, a good idea when inviting family and friends round is to have a casual buffet lunch.’
    tentative, undecided, unsettled, unsure, unreliable, unresolved, in doubt, in the balance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Of doubtful quality or legality.
      ‘a good wine merchant will change the iffy bottles for sound ones’
      • ‘The picture quality is iffy, with many shots seeming overexposed.’
      • ‘The Jeep, meanwhile, is not only very strange-looking, but also has iffy build quality.’
      • ‘Some are sound, some are iffy, and some are downright worthless.’
      • ‘His driving was dodgy, his irons iffy, and his body still troubled by a few aches and pains, not the least of which is a back problem that requires weekly chiropractice.’
      • ‘It's a lot of fuss for fuzzy pictures and iffy sound.’
      • ‘A special of monkfish medallions sounded iffy, with its add-ons of manchego cheese, kalamata olives and tomato.’
      • ‘The iffy sound complements the imperfect appeal of Dinosaur Jr: it's like overhearing a disturbing secret.’
      • ‘The disc is slapped with a misdemeanor for iffy audio and no substantial extra features.’
      • ‘It was the filling that was iffy, redolent of garlic powder, full of that horrid bean salad that comes in cans and contains suspicious bits of red and green material that might once have been a pepper.’
      • ‘‘Dave’ would have more cause to be worried by claims he was once a member of the iffy Young Conservatives gang, and had been addicted to corporal punishment.’
      • ‘So Colvert's results look a little iffy in retrospect.’
      • ‘The real story is, how come ‘60 Minutes’ used the story to begin with, since it was based on iffy journalism?’
      • ‘Someone wants a Zima, and I might think it's kind of an iffy drink, but - you know what?’
      • ‘The lyrics are a bit iffy here but with riffs dripping with this much heaviosity, who gives a toss what this guy's singing about?’
      • ‘This single change has alone transformed an iffy stab at rethinking Bizet into a colourful triumph which deserves to stick around for years.’
      • ‘Mind you, the material was often iffy to say the least.’
      • ‘A couple of tracks are iffy, popping and crackling, so I got it cheap.’
      • ‘A solid sophomore entry for a band born out of intensity, Sparta have made an iffy decision in veering off into a lighter direction.’
      • ‘And he was always seen as iffy, as far as the system was concerned, but they put up with him because he was such a supreme chess player.’
      • ‘Yup, it's a really iffy shot of my new pride and joy.’
      substandard, second-rate, low-grade, low-quality, of low quality, of poor quality
      View synonyms


1930s (originally US): from if + f + -y.