[ stif ]
/ stɪf /
adjective, stiff·er, stiff·est.
rigid or firm; difficult or impossible to bend or flex: a stiff collar.
not moving or working easily: The motor was a little stiff from the cold weather.
(of a person or animal) not supple; moving with difficulty, as from cold, age, exhaustion, or injury.
strong; forceful; powerful: stiff winds; The fighter threw a stiff right to his opponent's jaw.
strong or potent to the taste or system, as a beverage or medicine: He was cold and wanted a good stiff drink.
resolute; firm in purpose; unyielding; stubborn.
stubbornly continued: a stiff battle.
firm against any tendency to decrease, as stock-market prices.
rigidly formal; cold and unfriendly, as people, manners, or proceedings.
lacking ease and grace; awkward: a stiff style of writing.
excessively regular or formal, as a design; not graceful in form or arrangement.
laborious or difficult, as a task.
severe or harsh, as a penalty or demand.
excessive; unusually high or great: $50 is pretty stiff to pay for that.
firm from tension; taut: to keep a stiff rein.
relatively firm in consistency, as semisolid matter; thick: a stiff jelly; a stiff batter.
dense or compact; not friable: stiff soil.
Nautical. (of a vessel) having a high resistance to rolling; stable (opposed to crank2).
Scot. and North England. sturdy, stout, or strongly built.
Australian Slang. out of luck; unfortunate.
- 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.
Slang. a contestant, especially a racehorse, sure to lose.
in or to a firm or rigid state: The wet shirt was frozen stiff.
completely, intensely, or extremely: I'm bored stiff by these lectures. We're scared stiff.
verb (used with object)
Slang. to fail or refuse to tip (a waiter, porter, etc.).
Slang. to cheat; gyp; do out of: The company stiffed me out of a week's pay.
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Origin of stiff
OTHER WORDS FROM stiff
stiff·ish, adjectivestiff·ly, adverbstiff·ness, nouno·ver·stiff, adjective
o·ver·stiff·ly, adverbo·ver·stiff·ness, nounsem·i·stiff, adjectivesem·i·stiff·ly, adverbsem·i·stiff·ness, nounun·stiff, adjectiveun·stiff·ly, adverbun·stiff·ness, noun
Words nearby stiff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for stiffnesses
/ (stɪf) /
not easily bent; rigid; inflexible
not working or moving easily or smoothlya stiff handle
difficult to accept in its severity or harshnessa stiff punishment
moving with pain or difficulty; not supplea stiff neck
difficult; arduousa stiff climb
unrelaxed or awkward; formal
firmer than liquid in consistency; thick or viscous
powerful; stronga stiff breeze; a stiff drink
excessively higha stiff price
nautical (of a sailing vessel) relatively resistant to heeling or rollingCompare tender 1 (def. 11)
lacking grace or attractiveness
stubborn or stubbornly maintaineda stiff fight
obsolete tightly stretched; taut
slang, mainly Australian unlucky
stiff upper lip See lip (def. 9)
stiff with informal amply provided with
slang a corpse
slang anything thought to be a loser or a failure; flop
completely or utterlybored stiff; frozen stiff
(intr) slang to failthe film stiffed
(tr) slang, mainly US to cheat or swindle
(tr) slang to kill
Derived forms of stiffstiffish, 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 stiffnesses
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)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.