adjective, stiff·er, stiff·est.
- a dead body; corpse.
- a formal or priggish person.
- a poor tipper; tightwad.
- a drunk.
- a fellow: lucky stiff; poor stiff.
- a tramp; hobo.
- a laborer.
- a forged check.
- a promissory note or bill of exchange.
- a letter or note, especially if secret or smuggled.
verb (used with object)
Origin of stiff
Synonyms for stiff
Related Words for stiffersolid, stark, tight, tense, rigid, thick, wooden, creaky, arthritic, cold, strong, hard, tough, heavy, stringent, excessive, harsh, brisk, strict, rigorous
Examples from the Web for stiffer
Contemporary Examples of stiffer
Stiffer corporate income tax: This one I imagine Democrats would like to do.After the Fiscal Cliff: What do Democrats Want?
January 2, 2013
The longer you cook a cranberry sauce, the more pectin is released and liquid is evaporated, and the stiffer the result will be.Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving Recipes
November 20, 2012
Historical Examples of stiffer
He's last in ten jumps, that's what he is: stiffer'n a board!Old Man Curry
Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
Should he find them all colder, stiffer, haughtier than ever?Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
And he let them alone, like figures of stone,For he could not make them stiffer.The Book of Humorous Verse
The stiffer the breeze and the more sail there is, the more she careens.Menhardoc
George Manville Fenn
Now I am sure you couldn't have made it any stiffer in your own rooms.The Woman in Black
Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Word Origin for stiff
Old English stif "rigid, inflexible," from Proto-Germanic *stifaz "inflexible" (cf. Dutch stijf, Old High German stif, German steif "stiff;" Old Norse stifla "choke"), from PIE *stipos-, from root *steip- "press together, pack, cram" (cf. Sanskrit styayate "coagulates," stima "slow;" Greek stia, stion "small stone," steibo "press together;" Latin stipare "pack down, press," stipes "post, tree trunk;" Lithuanian stipti "stiffen," stiprus "strong;" Old Church Slavonic stena "wall"). Of battles and competitions, from mid-13c.; of liquor, from 1813. To keep a stiff upper lip is attested from 1815.
"corpse," 1859, slang, from stiff (adj.) which had been associated with notion of rigor mortis since c.1200. Meaning "working man" first recorded 1930, from earlier genitive sense of "contemptible person" (1882). Slang meaning "something or someone bound to lose" is 1890 (originally of racehorses), from notion of "corpse."
"fail to tip," 1939, originally among restaurant and hotel workers, probably from stiff (n.) in slang sense of "corpse" (corpses don't tip well, either). Extended by 1950 to "cheat."
In addition to the idioms beginning with stiff
- stiff as a board
- stiff upper lip
- bore to death (stiff)
- keep a stiff upper lip
- scare out of one's wits (stiff)