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. 2019

Examples from the Web for stiffer

British Dictionary definitions for stiffer

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 stiffer


In addition to the idioms beginning with stiff

  • stiff as a board
  • stiff upper lip

also see:

  • bore to death (stiff)
  • keep a stiff upper lip
  • scare out of one's wits (stiff)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.