The Meaning of Stodgy: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever been confused by the definition of stodgy? This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the word stodgy, including its definition, etymology, synonyms and antonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word stodgy mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Dictionary, the word stodgy, pronounced “stoj-ee” has a few different meanings. The word stodgy is an adjective, which can mean boring or dull, drab or dowdy, very old-fashioned, stocky or thick set, or thick, rich, and filling when used in reference to food.

The word stodgy has many different meanings and can be used to describe many different things. If someone is describing a food as stodgy, this means that the food is very starchy, rich, and filling. For example, if someone crams a giant baked potato loaded with sour cream, cheese, and bacon into their mouth, that might be considered a stodgy meal. Stodgy food can leave one bloated or in a food coma, unable to move. This thing could have a semi-solid consistency or be indigestible, like a stodgy pudding in Victorian times.

If a person is described as stodgy, this can mean a few different things. First, it can mean that they are dull or uninteresting. This could also be used to describe things or events. If a meeting is stodgy, it probably means that it is very tedious, unnecessary, and uninteresting. If a person is stodgy, they might drone on and on about boring, meaningless chatter, or shoot you a disapproving glance about family life. 

It could also mean that the person is simply thick or heavy-set. A short man who lifts a lot of weights could be described as stodgy, or stocky.  It could also mean that the person lacks grace or elegance. Perhaps they are very clumsy, or behave like a bull in a china shop. 

Since the word stodgy has so many meanings, and to all of them are positive, one should use caution when describing someone or something as stodgy. People might take offense to this if they think you are calling them boring or dull, or even graceless. Use the word stodgy sparing especially in reference to other people, because it is likely that they will take offense to it. Stodgy has many alternate forms, including stodginess, stodgier, stodgiest, and stodgily.

What is the etymology of the word stodgy?

According to Etymonline, the word stodgy has been used since 1823 to mean thick, or semi-solid. This is similar to the words stocky or starchy. The word stodgy comes from stodge, which means to stuff or satiate. This word is of unknown origin, but it is postulated that it may be imitative. The word stodgy has been used to mean dull or heavy since 1874 from its use in reference to stodgy food.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word stodgy?

There are a plethora of different words that one can use in place of the word stodgy. These are called synonyms, which are words that have the same definition as a given word or phrase. Someone might choose to use a synonym because they want to steer clear of repeating themselves, or because they want to work on expanding their own vocabulary. The below list of synonyms for the word stodgy is provided by Thesaurus

  • monotonous
  • uninteresting
  • boring
  • tedious
  • dreary
  • heavy
  • plodding
  • ponderous
  • unimaginative
  • uninspired
  • staid
  • unexciting
  • formal
  • turgid
  • dim
  • pedestrian
  • labored
  • dull
  • banausic
  • pedantic
  • weighty
  • stuffy

If someone wanted to describe something or someone that is the opposite of stodgy, they could use what is called an antonym. An antonym is a word or phrase that has the opposite meaning as a given word or phrase. This list of antonyms for the word stodgy is also provided by Thesaurus

  • impressive
  • hectic
  • lively
  • mind-blowing
  • arousing
  • flashy
  • moving
  • wild
  • fine
  • exhilarating
  • eye-popping
  • titillating
  • astonishing
  • arresting
  • thrilling
  • dangerous
  • intriguing
  • appealing
  • hair-raising
  • far-out
  • impelling
  • racy
  • rip-roaring
  • commoving
  • neat
  • spine-tingling
  • groovy
  • exciting
  • sensational
  • stirring
  • provocative
  • electrifying
  • overpowering
  • animating
  • rousing
  • intoxicating
  • zestful
  • exhilarant
  • showy
  • dramatic
  • breathtaking
  • agitative
  • overwhelming
  • melodramatic
  • interesting
  • bracing
  • stimulating
  • interesting
  • heady

How can the word stodgy be used in a sentence?

The word stodgy can be used in many different sentences to describe many different things. In this first example, the word stodgy is used to describe a filling, hearty food. Kevin and Grace have just finished Thanksgiving dinner.

Kevin: Grace, do you want pie?

Grace: Do I want pie? Do I want pie? We just ate the stodgiest meal of the year half an hour ago and you want to know if I want pie?

Kevin: … Yes?

Grace: Of course I want pie. Pumpkin please. And a little bit of vanilla ice cream on the side. Thanks.

In this next example, the word stodgy is used to describe an event. Here, Grace and Kevin have just exited a meeting at their workplace.

Grace: That was the stodgiest meeting I’ve ever been in. Never let me attend the finance meeting again.

Kevin: I know. That guy does not know how to keep a room engaged. They could have someone with a personality run it at least. Stodgy man, stodgy meeting.

Here, Kevin and Grace use the word stodgy to describe both the meeting and the man running it. 

Overall, the word stodgy has many different meanings. If a food is described as stodgy, this means that it is rich and filling. If a person or thing is described as stodgy, this can mean that they are boring, heavy set, old fashioned, or inelegant. Be careful when describing things as stodgy; you don’t want to cause offense.