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Origin of stiff

before 1000; Middle English (adj. and adv.); Old English stīf; cognate with German steif; akin to stifle1, steeve1


6 unrelenting, resolved, obstinate, pertinacious.
9 reserved, constrained, starched, prim.
10 graceless, inelegant.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for stiff

British Dictionary definitions for stiff

Derived forms of stiff

stiffish, adjectivestiffly, adverbstiffness, noun

Word Origin for stiff

Old English stīf; related to Old Norse stīfla to dam up, Middle Low German stīf stiff, Latin stīpēs wooden post, stīpāre to press
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with stiff


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.