Definition of iffy in English:



  • 1Full of uncertainty; doubtful.

    ‘the prospect for classes resuming next Wednesday seems iffy’
    • ‘He said: ‘It has been a bit of an iffy start but we are turning things around now.’’
    • ‘It conjured up all sorts of iffy research - dutifully reported in the same newspapers that took tobacco ads - to ‘prove’ its case.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you drive through these landscapes, getting radio reception can sometimes be iffy at best, especially in the rural West.’
    • ‘But although he might be a natural fit here, his legal status is iffy.’
    • ‘And getting reimbursement from our homeowners insurance company looks iffy at best.’
    • ‘The young pair is remarkably candid in the book about their iffy journalistic methods and practices circa 1972, part of Broder's golden age.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It used to be that our relationship was iffy at best.’
    • ‘Transportation seems to be an iffy business; railroads as an industry never made a dime for their owners.’
    • ‘Both are fixable and 2 good friends are better than four iffy friends.’
    • ‘There's just so many people there that to expect to stay and grow, it's kind of, you know, iffy.’
    • ‘And personally, I think the theory he seems to prefer now is a little… well, iffy.’
    • ‘The full game was looking a bit iffy for a while there, but after playing the demo I'm sold.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, if the weather is still iffy on the east coast of Florida, Discovery has two other landing sites ready and waiting.’
    • ‘But that theory's iffy, too: Loons spend their winters in salt water, hunting different-colored fish.’
    • ‘As we look at live pictures now from the Kennedy Space Center, it's not the faulty fuel sensor inspiring those iffy conditions.’
    tentative, undecided, unsettled, unsure, unreliable, unresolved, in doubt, in the balance
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    1. 1.1Of doubtful quality or legality.
      ‘a good wine merchant will change the iffy bottles for sound ones’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘The iffy sound complements the imperfect appeal of Dinosaur Jr: it's like overhearing a disturbing secret.’
      • ‘This single change has alone transformed an iffy stab at rethinking Bizet into a colourful triumph which deserves to stick around for years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The disc is slapped with a misdemeanor for iffy audio and no substantial extra features.’
      • ‘Someone wants a Zima, and I might think it's kind of an iffy drink, but - you know what?’
      • ‘The Jeep, meanwhile, is not only very strange-looking, but also has iffy build quality.’
      • ‘A special of monkfish medallions sounded iffy, with its add-ons of manchego cheese, kalamata olives and tomato.’
      • ‘The real story is, how come ‘60 Minutes’ used the story to begin with, since it was based on iffy journalism?’
      • ‘It's a lot of fuss for fuzzy pictures and iffy sound.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some are sound, some are iffy, and some are downright worthless.’
      • ‘A solid sophomore entry for a band born out of intensity, Sparta have made an iffy decision in veering off into a lighter direction.’
      • ‘So Colvert's results look a little iffy in retrospect.’
      • ‘Yup, it's a really iffy shot of my new pride and joy.’
      • ‘A couple of tracks are iffy, popping and crackling, so I got it cheap.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘The picture quality is iffy, with many shots seeming overexposed.’
      • ‘Mind you, the material was often iffy to say the least.’
      • ‘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.’
      substandard, second-rate, low-grade, low-quality, of low quality, of poor quality
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1930s (originally US): from if + f + -y.