Nearby words

  1. stiction,
  2. stiegel,
  3. stiegel, henry william,
  4. stieglitz,
  5. stieglitz, alfred,
  6. stiff as a board,
  7. stiff upper lip,
  8. stiff-arm,
  9. stiff-man syndrome,
  10. stiff-necked

Origin of stiff

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

1. unbending, unyielding. See firm1. 6. unrelenting, resolved, obstinate, pertinacious. 9. reserved, constrained, starched, prim. 10. graceless, inelegant.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stiffness

British Dictionary definitions for stiffness
Derived Formsstiffish, 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

Word Origin and History for stiffness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with stiffness


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.